Protecting our environment is the headline in our growing story. Our water management plan is key as our water can become a precious resource at certain times of the year and ensuring water quality is maintained is important for sustainability.
As part of this, we utilise modern technology in our glasshouses to effectively manage our water use, capturing and recycling water throughout our glasshouses to minimise waste. Outdoors, we plant crops in ideal environments matched to their needs and irrigation is carefully monitored and measured to ensure we only use what our plants require.
Kaitiakitanga means guardianship and protection. Alongside ensuring we manage water responsibly, we also put the same amount of diligence and sustainable thinking into looking after our soil.
We have independent scientists routinely monitor the land that we use for planting our crops.
This monitoring allows us to sustain and improve the quality of our soil by rotating the land usage and replenishing the nutrients in the soil when our reports indicate it's necessary.
Keeping our energy usage as renewable and cost-effective as possible is a monumental task, which we take on with gusto. We work in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) to continually improve and refine our heating and power usage and generation.
Our energy efficiency plan is centered on reducing heat and power consumption across our business and generating it from renewable fuel. As part of this, our glasshouses are fitted with thermal screens to keep heat in at night, and our boilers heat water during the day when the ambient temperature is higher to generate warmth in our glasshouses supporting plant growth.
We are constantly investigating and trialing new sustainable types of fuel, and we're already in the early stages of moving to renewable biofuels in the not too distant future.
We take care to align ourselves with the NZ regulatory standards for food safety, health and safety, and environmental management.
We have this audited independently by accredited certification bodies to make sure our produce follows guidelines when grown, harvested, and packaged. We do this so that our products are always at their very best and consumers can have confidence in the quality of our produce.
We are also working in conjunction with NZ Good Agricultural Practices (NZGAP) on the NZGAP Social Practice Standard to drive for transparency and compliance with local laws, management systems, and social, labour, and environmental standards.
Our modern glasshouses incorporate the latest growing technology allowing our crops to flourish in a protected environment. Accurately controlling humidity and temperature helps us grow the best possible quality produce for our consumers in a sustainable way.
Pollination is a key factor in growing hothouse crops and we have the advantage in New Zealand of being able to use New Zealand bred bumblebees to naturally pollinate all our crops.
Our hothouse crops are grown utilising a soilless growing medium consisting of rock wool and coco fibre. In utilising these unique fibres, we have increased growing precision, more effective nutrient control, and improved quality of fruit.
Selecting the right types and varieties of vegetables to grow based on Nelson's climate and seasons is a key part of our outdoor planting programme.
Our crops demand a lot, and we've got the technology to keep them happy. Our automated, variable-rate-controlled fertilising applications and mobile irrigators deliver everything they need to thrive.
We use GPS and specialised software in our planting and cultivation activities, which allows us to track what is happening with our crops at every stage from seed to shelf.
Ensuring our produce gets to you in the same high-quality standard we have grown it to is important to us given the care, attention, and pride we have put into growing our produce.
Maintaining food safety standards right through our produce journey along with using recyclable packaging allows us to achieve this.
All our punnets are sealed and made from rPET, which means we're only using recycled material to be sustainable. Our punnets can be placed in your kerbside recycling bins. Our bags are produced from LDPE, which means they can be recycled at any soft plastics recycling partner. You also have the option of purchasing our products without any packaging of any kind.
We harvest and pack our crops every day to keep freshness at its peak. With a full cool chain management process in place, everything is maintained at the correct temperature to ensure freshness and quality all the way to our customers.
Our specialised machinery delicately handles our produce directly into their punnets, which means they go through less handling before hitting the shelves. We also utilise the latest optical technology as part of our quality control ensuring our produce is consistently at a high standard.
From a quiet field in beautiful rural Appleby to one of New Zealand’s largest growers, the story of JS Ewers Limited mixes a passion for top quality product and good old-fashioned family values.