WORLD food production is under great scritiny and pressure at the moment, and with World Food Day upon us, it’s a timely opportunity to take you behind the scenes with the berries that are grown for CurraNZ.
Incredibly, a third of all food is thrown out and Western countries are the worst offenders. In the US, this figure climbs to a staggering 40% - which is enough to feed most of Africa.
We hate waste and our premium blackcurrants are far too precious to throw away. While it’s common for fruit processors to have high discard rates – for example, Ribena have no use for their blackcurrant skins once the juice is removed - we use 100% of our berries, even the seeds.
98% of the farms in the world are family run and this is no different with our blackcurrant growers. With the majority of Kiwi blackcurrant farms having been passed down from generation to generation, the passion for produce is embedded in each family’s DNA. In New Zealand, sustainable, ethical and natural farming comes first. We support small and large growers alike.
Bees are crucial for pollenating blackcurrants, and every spring, our farmers work with local beekeepers to install hives amongst the fields of blackcurrants to do their good work. Have you ever heard of ‘hire a hive’? Nope? Well you have now!
Growing top-notch blackcurrants can be a stressful business. The bushes need sub-zero winters and blazing summers to produce the best fruit, and many places in the world don't have suitable climates for these berries.
Come harvest time, late frosts – which are not uncommon - can spell disaster for fruit yields.
Sometimes freak events intervene, too. Last year, a spate of tornadoes in Canterbury came very close to tearing up bushes heaving with ripe berries destined for CurraNZ.
New Zealand’s blackcurrant growing ‘scene’ is small, with around 20 commercial growers. Until a few years ago, Ribena was the biggest purchaser of New Zealand blackcurrants, until pulling out of the market due to business pressures as a result of the sugar tax.
Until a few years ago, Ribena was the biggest purchaser of New Zealand blackcurrants, until they pulled out of the market.
CurraNZ has now taken the place of Ribena as the biggest end user of exported New Zealand blackcurrants internationally. With the ‘functional food’ market taking off for Kiwi blackcurrants, and CurraNZ at the forefront of this new industry, our program of research will ensure our blackcurrant growers are kept busy planting, growing and harvesting for many years to come.
Watch this great video showcasing the harvest at one of our stunning blackcurrant grower’s farms in Canterbury – and see the spectacular properties for yourself.