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After A Hot, Dry Summer Green Beans Up There With Tomatoes

Media Statement April 11, 2013

After A Hot, Dry Summer Green Beans Up There With Tomatoes And Wine

Wattie’s Canterbury green bean crop has, like its sister crop of tomatoes in Hastings, relished the benefits of the country’s hot, dry summer, which has also been experienced by the wine industry.

Harvesting and processing of the beans is scheduled to finish this week, and Wattie’s South Island Agricultural Manager Mark Daniels reports excellent yields and blemish-free quality.

“Our bean crop has thrived under the hot dry conditions and we are finishing slightly ahead of schedule compared with recent years.

“This crop has dovetailed nicely with the region’s cereal crops in terms of its irrigation needs, so water was available when needed

“The conditions have resulted in a crop that we are well pleased with, and our yields are around 16% ahead of forecast volumes.”

Beans, which include the yellow ‘butter bean’, are one of Wattie’s signature crops used in a 12 different Wattie’s frozen vegetable products as well as dozens of soups and meal products – frozen and canned.

After peas, beans are among the largest crops grown for and processed by Wattie’s in the Canterbury region, and while the bulk is used domestically around 20 per cent are exported.

Christchurch Operations Manager Trevor Biggs says that although the total volume is significantly lower than peas, beans are a fussier crop to process, with some being sliced, cut or left whole for different product specifications.

“To support the processing, we have continued to invest in the plant, and the colour sorting equipment installed last season has lifted quality and operational efficiency.”

Carrots are the next big thing – but the ‘babies’ are being lifted now
As the bean season finishes Wattie’s will start harvesting main carrot crop, although baby carrot – variety bred as a whole, small carrot, is already under way, and will be finished by mid-April.

Broad beans the start of another cycle
Wattie’s will start planting out its broad beans later this month, for harvesting in November. Mark Daniels says this is always a significant event as it marks the change of seasons. “For Wattie’s in Canterbury, when harvested, broad beans will be the first crop of the 2014 season - so planting out is the beginning of another cycle.”


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