Business South May 2021

56 | HORTICULTURE Award-winning growers nuts about their olives Dunford Grove olives are picked by a combination of machine and hand-picking and delivered to the press throughout the day of harvest. Dunford Grove D unford Grove owners Sandy Black and Jocelyn Robinson says olives and their oil are not only a fantastic product, it is a great industry to be involved in. The former Dunedin bed and breakfast owners purchased their Lowburn lifestyle property in May 2015 after looking for a suit- able place far and wide, including the North Island. The five hectare property included an estab- lished olive and hazelnut grove. “All the hazelnuts had fallen on the ground and the olive trees were almost ready for harvesting and we knew nothing, but we did have a great outlook to this stunning view,” Jocelyn says. They knew nothing about either the olives on the trees that were almost ripe, or the hazelnuts on the ground, forcing them to embark on a rapid learning curve for their management from the branch to the bottle and beyond. This has certainly proven no hindrance; last year for the fourth consecutive year Dunford Grove has won an Olives New Zealand nation- al award. In 2020 it won a silver award in the Com- mercial Medium – Blends category for its Dunford Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil while other awards include gold and Best in Class awards in 2018. Dunford Grove oils carry the distinctive red Olive Mark sticker showing that they have passed the rigorous certification standards of Olives New Zealand for chemical and sensory analysis and may be classified as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). The olives are picked by a combination of machine and hand-picking and delivered to the press throughout the day of harvest. After pressing off-site the oil is returned in stainless steel barrels and left to settle for a few days before draining off any sediment. From there a combination of varietals is blended to create a balanced oil with the aim of creating a fruity, vibrant, peppery oil with an intense green colour. “We grow mainly Italian varietals of olives because they’re more suited to the climate down here. Central Otago is marginal for growing olives. It’s great because it’s disease free so we don’t have to spray, but we do have to watch for frosts.” Alongside their award winning EVO olive oil, Sandy and Jocelyn produce a range of olive oil and hazelnut-centric products including olive oil soap made from what would otherwise be wasted oil. High in nutrients and low in fat, Dunford Grove’s heart-healthy, brain-boosting hazel- nuts are sold as freshly cracked whole kernels, raw, dry roasted or as beautiful cold pressed hazelnut oil with an intense, nutty flavour. Dunford Grove has an online store which means their products are conveniently availa- ble nationwide. The business is also well sup- ported by local customers, especially through three farmers markets held each week. “Since Covid people have really embraced that buy local ethos.” Through the markets the couple have also become aware of a “stagger- ing” number of Kiwis travelling internally. Dunford Grove has also established a wholesale market which includes restaurants and chefs buying in bulk. Many customers like the fact that Dunford Grove is spray-free and operates on biody- namic principles. Looking ahead, Sandy and Jocelyn are aim- ing to increase the return from their property and there is plenty of potential to do so Sandy says. “At the moment the New Zealand average crop per olive tree is six to eight kilos. Interna- tionally it’s 35 kilos a tree. “We are between 12 and 15 kilos a tree at the moment.” Consequently the couple are introducing practices such as improving nutrients, better pruning and using biodynamics. Croftpak Ltd is a New Zealand owned company with 18 years of proven performance supplying quality packaging within New Zealand. Croftpak was launched in Christchurch in 2003 with one employee and a passion for packaging, 6 years ago we opened our second branch in Cromwell and have distribution centres based in Napier and Auckland. We supply glass and plastic bottles, jars, containers, closures, lexible and bulk packaging from a wide variety of manufacturing platforms globally. We are committed to “walking alongside” our Customers in terms of building their brand and their business, we o er quality packaging at a competitive price. We are a tight knit team and we do business with family values, honesty and commitment. | | 2BWolter Cr., Cromwell Nikki Payne 021 0278 0526 | Rob Tomlinson 027 588 6600 • Glass Jars • Glass Bottles • Metal Closures Turning your ideas intoReality • Passionate about packaging • Tenacious about Quality • Obsessive about service • PET Jars • PETBottles • RecycledPETJars • Plastic Closures • Plastic Pails &Lids • HoneycombBases Croftpak has it covered Croftpak, the only South Island-based supplier of a variety of glass and plastic bottles, jars and containers, is a one-in-a million kind of company. Formed in July 2003 by Greg Croft and Joanne Carter-Croft, the company initially started in a small warehouse in St Asaph St, with a handful of customers and Greg as its sole worker. During the past 18 years Croftpak has diversi ied considerably and grown to be a signi icant supplier and distributor of containers of many shapes and sizes to a large customer base throughout New Zealand. In 2015 Croftpak opened a branch in Central Otago to meet the needs of the lower half of the South Island, o ering an alternative in cheaper freight and ease of location. Located in Cromwell, the branch is perfectly positioned to supply the many hobbyist and boutique businesses in the area which feature at craft markets, as well as commercial operations. Because Croftpak does not impose a minimum quantity to purchase, it can supply any amount to its clients, whether one or one million. Having a massive inventory of products on hand in a great range of shapes and sizes, much of which is imported from Europe and Australia, means producers and manufacturers of any product whether for human consumption or otherwise, do not have to keep large stocks themselves. Another advantage of Croftpak directly purchasing many millions of units a year is that clients bene it from its purchasing power. Cromwell olive and hazelnut producer Dunford Grove is an example of a boutique business to bene it from Croftpak having a specialist product on hand – classy Italian manufactured antique green Marasca olive oil bottles that both showcases its premium product while protecting the oil from sun damage. Croftpak can work with its clients where there is a need to either have a particular type or style of container sourced, or even manufactured, and will even send a free sample of any bottles or containers. “We encourage businesses to trial a container before they go to any commercial quantities,” Greg says. In the case of glass, it is also possible to trial a product in a New Zealand manufactured plastic container before committing to an imported glass option. Croftpak understands that every business has to start somewhere and loves to help and to give as much advice as possible. “We love to see companies grow and we grow with them and we all bene it.” T Russell Fredric