South Canterbury businesses highlighted in new book

Clayton Station farmers Hamish and Anna Orbell are among those whose businesses feature in a new book about the story ...
DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Clayton Station farmers Hamish and Anna Orbell are among those whose businesses feature in a new book about the story behind New Zealand food.

South Canterbury businesses have been highlighted in a newly released book which aims to tell the stories behind New Zealand's food. 

Source New Zealand is the product of more than a year's work finding stories from the regions that produce products for the food industry.

Authors Gerhard and Henri Egger spent nearly 15 months travelling the country and approaching farmers to write "their story", Henri Egger said. 

Four South Canterbury businesses are featured in the book.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, deer farmer Graham Carr from Peel Forest Estate, Havoc Farm Pork at Hunter Hills and deer, sheep and beef farm Clayton Station, near Fairlie all feature in the book. 

Clayton Station manager Hamish Orbell said the feature was an exciting chance to be able to share the heritage of the farm. 

Orbell is the third generation operating the station, which the family has run since the 1960s.

"This is what we're trying to do, this for the story."

He said for all farmers, it was about sharing the love and pride of the land, whether they were stock or crop farmers.

"It's why we do it." 

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Havoc Pork owner Linda McCallum-Jackson said she and her husband Ian had been in the business for 17 years - and "everything is for the pigs".

She said "it might not be the tidiest farm but our pigs never suffer".

The operation prided itself on how it was able to tell people how their meat was produced, she said. 

Henri Egger said "most New Zealanders have a vicinity with farming, whether that be through family or friends, and we've lost that".

"A lot of people in cities don't realise cows make milk and cows have a calf [for example] , it's perhaps the story of where it came from."

The book explored this, she said. 

She said the Mackenzie businesses had "rich" stories to tell, mostly all with strong with family ties, and the farms were all working towards a sustainable future. 

Mt Cook Salmon, for example, grew from a group of fisherman into a fully-fledged business - and "it's beautiful", she said. 

"It is about the people who make it happen, the source if you like, of where it all begins."

 - Stuff

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