There’s some new research afoot aiming to give our vegetable farming a bit of a boost while looking after the land. Let’s break it down?
The Kiwi Collaboration
The local fruit and veggie supplier, LeaderBrand Produce, has joined forces with Countdown supermarket and Plant & Food Research. With a support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, they’re diving into regenerative agriculture for our veggie farms. The aim? Boost production and do better by Mother Nature.
The wider agricultural sector’s seen some gains with eco-friendly farming, so why not veggies too? This project will chuck a spotlight on how we can make regenerative farming a win-win for New Zealand’s intense veggie farming.
What’s Happening in Gisborne
All testing is happening on LeaderBrand’s Gisborne farms. They’re looking into how these eco-friendly farming methods stack up against the usual farming routine in terms of the goods (productivity), the cash (profitability), our people, and, of course, the environment.
They’ve already sussed out how different composts work on various soils. This is the first step in figuring out if we can swap out or reduce those traditional fertilisers.
The plan also includes checking out how compost and various crop rotations affect everything from soil health to crop yield.
Gordon McPhail from LeaderBrand Produce is pretty stoked about this research.
“This is about farming for the future,” he says.
For farmers, sustainability isn’t just about reducing plastics, but about nurturing the soil – the very heart of what they do.
There’s a big focus on ensuring that this isn’t just some airy-fairy project. They’ve got Plant & Food Research on board to make sure everything’s scientifically sound. They’ll also be having a yarn with the local community and iwi, making sure the farming methods gel with everyone’s aspirations.
Where it All Started
This project came about after some chats between LeaderBrand and Countdown about sustainable farming and the environment. The research kicked off last April, and they’re aiming to share some findings by mid-2025.
A Word from Countdown
Catherine Langabeer from Countdown reckons that this project is a big step forward.
“It’s all about collaboration and understanding how we can work together to farm for the future,” she says.
She believes this initiative will be a game-changer for NZ and the way we grow our food.
In a Nutshell: LeaderBrand Produce
LeaderBrand Produce is an innovative Kiwi company passionate about the land and our veggie industry. With a dedication to sustainability, they’re keen on making positive changes and ensuring the longevity of farming in Aotearoa. By teaming up with like-minded partners, they aim to pave a new path for vegetable farming – one that’s better for the land, the people, and our future generations.