Sustainability & Innovation

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand is one of the best places on the planet to grow fruit. The temperate warm climate, cold winter frosts and alluvial soil produces outstanding fruit.

Looking after this special environment is important to us to ensure our next generation can enjoy our Yummy fruit and this beautiful place we call home.

 

 

At Yummy, we are constantly researching and implementing new and innovative ideas to continue to produce our fruit in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Here are just a few of the things we are doing right now:

In the Orchard

Water

…a precious resource that is always in high demand when working on the land, particularly during those long hot sunny Hawke’s Bay summers!

Across our orcharding operations, we use weather stations to monitor rainfall and temperature, and tensiometers to measure soil moisture content.

This information tells us when to irrigate and how much water to use, helping minimise water wastage.

We are also transitioning into efficient drip tape irrigation systems to improve the precision of water delivery in our orchards.

Yummy mustard

The tallest building needs a good foundation…and the best fruit trees need good quality soil to grow.

In between crops, we regenerate and cleanse the soil naturally by planting crops such as mustard, leaving them nutrient rich and ready for the next Yummy fruit trees.

The birds and the bees

Our orchards are a living ecosystem, and we use the latest research on how to manage that ecosystem with our Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) growing technique, which we adopted in the mid 1990’s.

As one of the first certified IFP growers in New Zealand, we use the monitoring of pest and predator levels, knowledge of their life cycles, mating and pheromone disruption, trapping and other techniques in preference to spraying. Only when pest levels become uncontrollable do we use “soft sprays” that target specific subspecies, and are safe for other beneficial insects, humans and the environment.

Growing quality fruit in a healthy and safe environment is important to us, as our kids happily play in our orchards throughout the year.  

Natural lawn mowers

In the middle of winter once all the fruit is picked, and the leaves have fallen from the trees, you will often find sheep grazing in our orchards. 

Sheep manure helps regenerate the soil naturally by retaining nutrients and moisture, ready for the next season! 

Responsible Waste Disposal

Agrecovery is the environmentally safe disposal of unwanted agrichemicals and the recycling of their containers. Yummy have been involved in the Agrecovery programme since 2008, and we have safely recycled over 15,000 empty agrichemical containers! Find out more about Agrecovery here.

In the Packhouse

Beep beep!

Long before Elon had ever dreamed of a battery powered car, we changed to using only electric forklifts in our packhouse. Since 2004, all our forklifts have been electric. Not only are they emission friendly, but they are also super quiet in the packhouse! They also have white tyres so not to mark our clean packhouse floors!

Since 2009, our refrigerated delivery trucks have used Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), reducing their nitrogen oxide emissions by 90-94%. Yummy’s trucks were some of the first in New Zealand to make the switch to SCR while this technology was still fairly new.

One step ahead

Getting on board with technological advancements is a key part of the Yummy plan, and we source the best available locally and from around the world to maximise our efficiency and deliver that Yummy quality. 

We run a Compac electronic defect sorter and Near Infrared (NIR) sorting machine (pictured), which gives us the ability to grade our fruit on both internal and external defects. The newest gadget in the Yummy packhouse is our robotic packing machine, which can pack up to 120 apples per minute!

We’re always on the look out for ways to improve and grow our business…so watch this space!

Recycle it

Reducing waste is important to us, and we are currently looking into more planet-happy packaging options. All our packaging is recyclable. Our Yummy apple bags (Type 4) and punnet wrap (Type 5) can be recycled with other soft plastics at your local recycling centre or some supermarkets. Our plastic punnets (1) can be recycled with hard plastics such as water bottles. 

Those pesky fruit labels

Individual fruit PLU labels are required by supermarkets for several important reasons: they identify products at the checkout, help with inventory control, and show country of origin so you know where your fruit comes from. Our Yummy labels are non-toxic and food grade, so don’t worry if you eat one by mistake – although we don’t recommend it!

Although Yummy labels are not currently recyclable, it’s at the top of our list to find an environmentally friendly alternative. We’re currently looking into biodegradable labels using materials like PLA, which is made from corn starch. Of course, there are pros and cons to everything, so unfortunately there’s no quick fix!

In the meantime, you can save up your Yummy stickers for your local school, and you’ll be helping them earn free sports gear!

If you want to know more about our sustainability practices, or have any suggestions, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.