Coast Business

Cranberry Farming

In this 2015 interview, Tony Allen talks about his cranberry operation.

I wanted to grow a crop that would allow Coasters to harvest from poor land.

After researching possible crops, including blueberries and black currant and receiving advice from Horticultural Research, Marj and I learned of the benefits of the newly available cranberry plant to New Zealand growers. Introduced to other West Coast growers in recent years, the cranberry has proven to be perfectly suited to the climate and weather conditions of the area.

Tony says when they started obtaining plants, they had a stroke of luck. They meet Horticultural Research in Motueka  who happened to have a complete bed of cranberries and were in the process of throwing them out. Tony made a number of trips to Motueka and loaded his trailer with the cuttings which was to be the start of his own cranberry beds.

Currently, he harvests his cranberry crop every year. Marj and Tony supply fresh cranberries to South Island supermarkets and can’t keep up. He exports a pallet a year to Japan. The variety of cranberry being harvested by Tony and Marj produces between 5,000 and 7,000 kg per ha per year.

Cranberry Farming