Whiritoa Orchards Wins Ballance Farm Environment Award

Orchard manager Helen Scott. Photo / Provided

Whiritoa Orchards has been named the 2022 Regional Supreme Winner of the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Led by orchard manager Helen Scott, Whiritoa Orchards grows both conventional and organic golden kiwifruit while striving to improve the land for future generations.

Since purchasing the property, Māori Investments Ltd has largely developed the orchards into healthy and successful businesses.

Establishing good drainage and restoring soil health in the orchards has paid off with an increase in production, so they harvest an additional 10,000 trays of kiwifruit per hectare – up to a maximum of 21,000 trays.

Whiritoa Orchards is focused on achieving good quality, sustainable cultivation that takes care of both the land and the plants. Employees are trained and empowered so that their work becomes a career rather than just a job. Fresh vegetables are grown for the whānau to enhance their personal health.

The judges were impressed with how traditional Maori knowledge provides a foundation for the team’s approach.

They have dramatically improved production and quality, while emphasizing the creation of long-term career paths.

“People are at the heart of this operation, with a holistic approach to sustainability which means profitability is not compromised. There is meticulous attention to detail and thoughtful consideration of all management practices, with a view generational,” the judges said.

Whiritoa Orchards also won Bayleys People in Primary Sector, Norwood Agri-Business Management and Zespri Kiwifruit Orchard awards.

A field day will be held at Whiritoa Orchards on July 26.

Run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards champion sustainable farming and cultivation. The Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards were announced on July 1.

Other winners of the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Award 2022

● Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award: Dell, Ross and Roger Bawden,
Orchard Oceanview Ltd
● Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award: John and Margaret Scrimgeour,
Nikau Trust
● DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award: Steve and Paula Holdem and Jeff and
Glenys Holdem, Farm Holdem
● Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Prize: Dell, Ross and Roger Bawden, Oceanview
Orchard Ltd.
● Massey University Innovation Award: Steve and Paula Holdem and Jeff and Glenys
Hold’em, Hold’em Farm
● WaterForce Wise with Water Award: Dell, Ross and Roger Bawden, Oceanview
Orchard Ltd.
● Bay Of Plenty Regional Council Farming for the Future Award: Winston Fleming,
Winston Fleming Trust – Content provided

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