Development will benefit fruit growers
A new fruit pressing facility could be good news for fruit growers in the Nelson and Tasman region.
Food manufacturing company Tasman Bay Food Group, based in Brightwater, is known for its frozen fruit product, Juicies. Its new development, which will include two large fruit presses, an improved processing plant, better fruit handling and increased storage capacity, is set to be up and running early next year.
Managing director Brian Hirst said the $1.5 million development would improve efficiencies and offer better export opportunities, and an increased market for local growers.
Hirst said the company would be creating products with higher value which would improve export opportunities.
It would also mean an increase in the fruit being processed, which would be good for local fruit growers, he said.
"All the fruit we press is local fruit. It would be in the tens of thousands of tons and we will be looking for more fruit."
Nelson MP Nick Smith said it was encouraging to see a local company implementing fresh, new and innovative ways of extending its market reach, while at the same time supporting local economic growth.
Hirst said the company had seen significant growth in the last five years, and now had 50 staff.
Around 20 per cent of Tasman Bay Food products were exported, Hirst said.
"We are looking to increase that significantly. We'd like to have maybe 80 per cent of our manufacturing exported in the next three years."
Hirst said the company was looking at expanding to South East Asia, but still deciding on exactly which countries that might include.
"We have some companies in business in the United States, and we're still going to work in Australia."
Its largest product was still Juicies, with millions being produced every year.
Hirst said these were still his favourite product, in particular the tropical flavour. However their biscotti was also "really nice", he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News