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A Golden Year For ENZAFOODS

A Golden Year For ENZAFOODS

New Zealand’s largest apple processing company, ENZAFOODS is celebrating a special year of production, marking 50 golden years in business.

As the New Zealand apple season kicks off, ENZAFOODS will officially open its new $4 million processing line at its Hastings factory, which has been purpose built to produce premium fruit products and will create dozens up to 30 new jobs.

ENZAFOODS is now injecting an estimated $40 million into the economies of Hawke’s Bay and Nelson and providing more profitable contracts to growers for second grade fruit.

General Manager Jon Marks says by pureeing and dicing apples, the company has created huge demand for premium fruit products under the Freshfields brand and is delivering profitable returns to growers.

“We’ve enjoyed tremendous growth, development and innovation, strengthening New Zealand’s international reputation as a premium processor of both fruit and vegetables.”

This year Enzafoods will process 110,000 tonnes of apples, pears, carrots, berries, kiwifruit and feijoas into juices, juice concentrates, purees and diced andsliced products, supplied into industrial, food service, hospitality and retail markets in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the USA

As part of the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board, ENZAFOODS has been recognised for changing the way fresh fruit juice was consumed in New Zealand by making itmore affordable for consumers. In 1984 the company introduced Tetra Pak cardboard cartons for retail fruit juice which made it cost effective to produce and more affordable.

“Families no longer had to opt for sugary cordials in the grocery shop. They could afford real fruit juice, which ENZAFOODS packaged economically. It really made a big difference in peoples’ lives and fruit juice has become an important grocery item.”

From humble beginnings, the company was established by the Apple and Pear Marketing Board to juice the export crop by-product in 1962. A processing factory was opened in Nelson and ten years later with the horticultural industry experiencing major growth a juicing plant was built in Hawkes Bay.

The processing technology, research and development abilities and equipment quickly becamerecognised as some of the most advanced in the world.

Introducing pouch packs and moving away from cans was also a major development in 2003 and helped the company grow.

“It was a significant investment but it was a step into the 21st century because consumers wanted convenient fruit pouches rather than cans.”

FreshFields Apple Sauce packed in innovative 100g pouches sold in a handy 4 pack won the “Grocer’s Choice Award” sponsored by Progressive Enterprises –at the New Zealand Food Awards in 2011.

Today ENZAFOODS is diversifying and focusing on innovative, commodity products like fruit purees for babies and fruit ingredients for food service and restaurants. The company is now encouraging growers to grow directly for process and move their focus out of the fresh export market.

“Growers can now make attractive low risk returns by signing ‘Grow for Process’ deals as an alternative to growing for the export market.”

Former ENZAFOODS employee, Bill Collie worked for the company for 22 years and was one of the driving forces behind its success. He helped design and build the Nelson and Hastings factories.

“Anything to do with apples we did it in those factories. It was a wonderful time to be involved in the fruit processing industry. I was in charge of so many new things this country had never done before.”

Bill helped create the first apple concentrate and the first tear off cans in New Zealand. He was also responsible for helping bring boysenberries to Nelson and producing redcurrant juice.

“We had the equipment to handle any juicing system. Anything that we could can we canned.”

Johnny Appleseed's Managing Director, John Paynter says ENZAFOODS revolutionised the apple industry creating a market for fruit that used to be mopped up as rubbish.

“ENZAFOODS innovation has meant growers can prosper because they’ve created a growing market for second grade fruit that can’t be exported. ENZAFOODS is a world leader in the international juicing market and should be congratulated on 50 successful years in business.”

General Manager, Jon Marks says the 50th celebrations will not only be a time to reflect on the past but also an opportunity to look forward to a bright future.

“In the next few years we plan to expand our export markets and will continue diversification into a range of related fruit products. Fruit products offer such a healthy platform. As the world looks for solutions to obesity and diabetes, we are well placed to supply tasty and healthy foods and food ingredients.”

The anniversary will be marked in Hawke’s Bay on the 9th February when the Hastings factory will be officially opened by local MP and Government Minister, Craig Foss. Celebrations will continue the following week in Nelson on the 16th February with a formal dinner.

Key Statistics

Tonnes of Fruit and vegetables processed
2011 104,500 Tonnes
2012 Forecast 111,000 Tonnes

2011 $52M
2012 Forecast $55M

Staff Employed
Permanent 98
Seasonal 150

Key Products
Juices and Juice Concentrates
Diced and Sliced Apple
Fruit Purees
Retail Apple Sauce and fruit snacks.

History Timeline

1962 – The New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board opens the processing factory in Nelson to process 250,000 cases of lower-grade Nelson apples perannum into juice, puree and diced and sliced apples.

1964 – 50 tons of raspberries are processed. 9000 tons of apples are processed. Sales are domestic and exports to UK, Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

1967 – The ‘Fresh Up’ mini can is launched

1974 – First operational season in Hastings – processing 5000 tonnes of apples into clear apple juice concentrate.

1980 - The first blackcurrants are processed in Nelson

1984 – Tetra Plant for packaging retail juice is installed in the Nelson factory.

1986 – The first cloudy apple juice concentrate is produced in Hastings for the Japanese market.

1987 – Due to continued growth in the apple crop, a major factory expansion is required in Hastings. Freshfields branch also launched.

1995 – Drummed Apple Sauce is processed for the Japanese market. Carrot processing commences in Hastings.

1998 – Frucor Beverages Ltd (FBL) sold and became separate identity.

2003 – Pouch pack equipment to replace the tin can is installed for diced and sliced apples.

2008 – Commence contract growing of process apples, and mechanical harvesting.

2010 – The FreshFields logo is rebranded and re-launched. Retail filling line commences in Nelson.

2011 – A new line to produce apple sauce and diced apple pouch pack and similar fruit products is constructed in Hastings. Apple sauce in 100g pouches is launched in New Zealand.

2012 and Beyond – Enzafoods plans to grow its value-added processed fruit business in retail, food service, and industrial markets in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, continue diversification into in to a range ofrelated fruit products , and to increase the crop volume processed into concentrates.

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