Next time you’re biting into into one of our New Zealand Jazz apples, think of Carl Fairey. His Waimea orchard, in the Hawke’s Bay area, is an M&S Select Farm, and even though his family have been growing apples there for nearly a century, they’re still finding new ways to improve their efficiency.
As well as growing clover-rich grass between his apple trees to feed goodness into the tree roots, he’s modified his mower so that the grass cuttings are thrown to one side, providing mulch around the fruit trees and saving on herbicide use. He has also devised natural methods of luring moths away from the trees, protecting the fruit from their apple-eating caterpillars.
Another part of the process that fits in well with our Plan A goals is Carl’s employment policy. Under the NZ government’s Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme, he works with islanders from Samoa for up to 7 months of the year. “The Pacific Islands have very high unemployment – sometimes as much as 80 per cent – and so it is nice to really help them by offering them the employment,” Carl says.
And while his new inventions are working extremely well, Carl also dedicates a considerable amount of time to the traditional methods of pruning and thinning to make sure every single tree produces just the right yield at the right quality. The results of his hard work are plain to see. A huge 98 per cent of the crop harvested at Waimea is good enough to sell, dramatically reducing waste in the packhouse and ensuring that our M&S customers enjoy high quality, great tasting fruit from a sustainable family business.
Did you know?
- The Jazz apple is a cross between the Royal Gala and Braeburn varieties
- Counts as one of your 5-a-day (1 medium apple)
- Provides small amounts of fibre, B vitamins and vitamin C