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Secrets To Wattie’s Baby Beets

Secrets To Wattie’s Baby Beets

Raising Baby Beets and getting them in the can is a labour of love for Wattie’s and its beetroot grower partner, the Apatu Farms Ltd.

The secret to achieving the exacting specifications for this heritage Wattie’s crop is creating a nursery effect by planting them three-times as densely as large sized beets. The result is perfect baby beets.

Heinz Wattie’s Agricultural Manager, North Island, Ivan Angland says the very factor that produces wonderfully round baby beets – the dense planting - also makes them a challenging crop to harvest.

“So, the other secret to this crop is the beetroot harvester used to get them out of the ground without creating beetroot carnage. The operator has become very skilled at cropping to pick the best beet possible.”

Wattie’s started its baby beet harvesting and processing today, but because of poor early season weather this season it has been necessary to split the harvesting and processing operations between this week and the whole of January.

Wattie’s uses the same beetroot variety for its baby beets and large sliced beetroot. The baby beets are processed whole, while the full sized beetroot is sliced into large rounds for Wattie’s foodservice and restaurant customers for use in products like hamburgers.

A different variety is used for Wattie’s retail slices. This variety is carrot-shape.

In total Wattie’s will harvest and process over 2000 tonnes of beetroot. It is all grown less than 15 kilometres from the factory.

Beetroot and the other Wattie’s vegetables contribute to the total of around 130,000 tonne of local fruit and vegetables grown for Wattie’s branded products annually.


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