The South Canterbury economy is strongly influenced by its agricultural heritage and today agriculture in the district is diverse, with dairying having a significant impact. Increasing irrigation offers farmers a greater range of options for production – including intensive cropping, meat, wool and dairy. The fishing industry, manufacturing and established further processing facilities add value to these sectors. South Canterbury has long been known as "the food bowl" of the wider Canterbury area.
The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce nurtures two cluster groups – The Export Cluster and the Primary Produce Innovation Cluster – focused on facilitating growth and value add to primary produce while enhancing and developing a strong exporting business community and providing support the importing community.
Significant investment is being made primarily based around agricultural added value manufacturing and processing. Examples include:
Heartland Potato Chips
Heartland Potato Chips was formed by Orari potato growers Raymond and Adrianne Bowan to process their potatoes into crisps at the former Bluebird factory. The factory closure in February 2009 had a huge effect on the Bowans business, the Bowans grow potatoes at Fallgate Farms near Orari. They were one of the main suppliers to the Bluebird factory also supplying Mr. Chips and Talley's. The Bowans refurbished the empty factory in November 2009.
Buying the factory gave them another market for their potatoes and the chance to take their product all the way from paddock to supermarket shelf.
The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and the Timaru District Council were hugely supportive of their decision to buy the factory. Part of the reason for beginning Heartland Potato Chips was to re-ignite a proud heritage in our region for making quality potato chips.
In February 2017 the family business installed new equipment and launched a range of premium crafted kettle chips in four flavours. This adds to the firm's six-flavour wave cut range, produced since the factory started in 2010, and its flat cut category introduced in 2015.
The company supplies Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs supermarkets throughout New Zealand, and exports to Singapore and Brisbane in Australia. They also supply other local companies for french fries. The potatoes are fresh from January to the end of May and then stored for use over winter.
Smithfield Venison Plant
The Alliance Group produces very high quality meat products from lamb, sheep, cattle, deer and veal, sourced from its shareholders under extensive free-range farming practices. The company's products are enjoyed by discerning consumers in 65 countries throughout the world. The chain commences on the farms of the company's 5500 shareholders, who supply more than 85% of the livestock processed.
Alliance Smithfield Timaru opened a new multimillion-dollar venison processing plant in January 2012, following the announcement that Alliance Group's Sockburn plant would close at the end of that year's processing season.
Smithfield has never processed venison, only sheep and lamb. To cater for the extra work, an estimated 50 staff are employed. The increase means a total of 540 staff would be employed during the peak season. Most of the venison processed at Smithfield will be sent to Europe, and a smaller amount sent to the United States.
State-of-the-art mill manufactures flour and speciality grains, Opened 30th May 2013
Farmers Mill Co-operative is a manufacturer and marketer of flour and speciality grains grown in the South Island and milled in Timaru. Owned by 12 South Island farmers, the Co-operative is the only independent grower-owned and operated flour producer in the country enabling manufacturers to pass on the promise to customers of being New Zealand made. Producing 28,000MT of flour annually, the mill uses advanced equipment to manufacture the best flour in a highly competitive market. Farmers Mill grain ensures the best quality and the best value - right from the paddock to plate.
The new $10 million flour mill built in Timaru has been welcomed by Federated Farmers' grain and seed section. “The significance of it cannot be underestimated and it is extremely positive news for farmers who absolutely welcome the opportunity to support a local initiative."
Oceania Dairy Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co.,Ltd (Yili), which is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange. Yili is China’s largest dairy producer and its 2015 revenue of US$8.6 billion made it the 8th largest dairy company in the world. Yili is the only dairy producer that has served both the Olympic Games and the World Expo in China.
China's largest dairy company commissioned a $236 million milk processing plant on a 38ha block of land at Glenavy, near the Waitaki River, in 2014. The company says the $400m second stage of the project is beginning in 2017. It includes a new UHT plant, infant formula canning line, blending facilities, a whole milk powder dryer, and facilities to manufacture UHT milk products and lactoferrin.
It also means jobs for the local community. More than 100 people are currently employed at Glenavy and this will grow to 220 when stage 2 is complete. Presently, 67 farmers supply milk to Oceania Dairy.
Fonterra Clandeboye is one of Fonterra’s second largest manufacturing sites in the South Island. The site can process up to 12.4 million litres of milk per day, and annually more than 40 per cent of all milk collected by the co-operative in the South Island.
Clandeboye’s resources allow it to produce around 381,000mt of milk powder, cream, cheese and protein products every year.
More than 10,000 containers are filled each year ready to be shipped around New Zealand as well as exported to more than 50 countries including the United States, China, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, Indonesia and Australia.
In December 2016 it was announced that A new $240 million
mozzarella plant will be built at Clandeboye, in what will be the single
biggest foodservice investment in the history of New Zealand dairy.
Work has already begun on the 8100sqm expansion - the
third mozzarella plant at Clandeboye - with the first product
destined for markets due to come off the line in September 2018. More than 1000 people will be involved in the
project, with the plant creating full time employment for 100 people in and
around South Canterbury, Fonterra confirmed
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon was recently
recognised as one of the most sustainable salmon farming operations worldwide.
Seafood Watch, owned by the prestigious US Monterey Bay Aquarium, gave Mt Cook
Alpine Salmon a ‘green card’ and the highest ever rating for a freshwater farm
in the world.
Located in Twizel and overshadowed by
iconic Mt Cook, the Mt Cook Salmon farm attributes cold glacial waters, high
altitude and isolated environment to its product supremacy. Its sustainability
credentials also include Best Aquaculture Practice certification from the
Global Aquaculture Alliance, the first salmon producer in Australasia to earn
Farmed at Twizel, the fish is
processed through its modern $6 million purpose-build salmon processing factory in Timaru, with the majority
of the harvested fish going to export markets around the world – from the Far
East to the USA. The company reported an impressive growth of more than 50 per
cent in 2015
Waipopo Orchards comprises 75
hectares on three properties at Seadown and Pleasant Point. Eight years after
they started growing the lucrative Honeycrisp cultivar and 31 years after they
first grew apples on the family farm, pioneering orchardists, Danny and Peter
Bennett decided to sell the business in 2016.
The business represents the culmination of a
family’s lifetime of hard work. What the Bennetts have developed is a
successful, pioneering business that has only scraped the surface of the
opportunity that Honeycrisp offers.
Danny Bennett says there was a good
reason Honeycrisp was not well-known in New Zealand. “Because all our
production is exported, it is not available in local supermarkets. However, it
is hugely popular in North America and Europe. South Canterbury has perfect
growing conditions for Honeycrisp, which suits the region’s low winter temperatures
and cooler summer nights. “Demand for Honeycrisp in North
America has increased 20 to 30% each year since our first export of 50 tonnes
Juice Products New Zealand Ltd
Juice Products New Zealand Limited
(JPNZ) is a New Zealand oriented and operated processor of vegetable and fruit
juice concentrate based in Timaru, South Canterbury. JPNZ is a leading processor of raw
carrots into high quality carrot juice concentrate; which are mainly exported
to countries in Asia, North America and Australasia.
JPNZ process a variety of fruit
purees which include apricot, cherry and plum purees. We also produce varietal
grape juice concentrates, blackcurrant concentrate and special fruit blends.
Vegetable juices include beetroot concentrate, broccoli juice concentrate and
celery juice concentrate. Along with broccoli puree JPNZ also produce other
The original business, established in
1993 was located in the town of Timaru. The existing JPNZ site based in the
industrial area Washdyke, Timaru was established in 2008. In 2014, JPNZ was
acquired by Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan's major integrated trading and
investment business enterprises.
Holcim New Zealand's new $50 million cement terminal at Timaru's port was officially opened in February 2016.
The 30,000 tonne storage dome – the first of its kind in New Zealand – has unloaded two ships since December 2015 and is set to be an important gateway for cement for the South Island and lower North Island. Fifty people worked on the Timaru terminal's construction and six full-time employees had been on-site since the last quarter of 2015.
Holcim will now become PrimePort Timaru's single largest bulk customer The Timaru Cement Terminal supplies cement to the South Island and lower North Island. A Holcim domestic ship distributes cement from Timaru to marine terminals around New Zealand including Dunedin, Lyttelton, Nelson, Wellington, New Plymouth and Napier.
Industrial Controls specialises in industrial electrical automation systems, providing control solutions for industry. A growing company with a strong commitment to customer service and technical excellence, Industrial Controls was formed in 1996 by David McIver and David Stickings and is now one of the regions foremost providers of industrial electrical automation systems.
Due to a passion for providing an excellent service Industrial Controls has a strong and growing market in New Zealand and is currently expanding into the USA and South Pacific regions. Industrial Controls is registered as a global integrator for Schneider Electric and is currently ranked amongst the top NZ Schneider Integrators.
Barker's of Geraldine
Barker’s of Geraldine
is one of New Zealand’s favourite home-grown family businesses. Based in Geraldine, South Canterbury, the Barker family has been crafting delicious fruit preserves, chutneys and syrups for over six generations.
In 2015 French multinational corporation Andros bought a majority stake in the company for an undisclosed sum. Barker's director Michael Barker said the company had been talking to the multinational, which has an annual turnover of about €2 billion (NZ$2.8b), for about four months, along with other potential investors. He said the Geraldine juice, jam and preserves company started looking for investors about 12 months ago after a group of private investors decided to "cash up their stake" after an eight-year investment.
Barker said the company's Geraldine factory, which employs about 180 people, would continue on a "business as usual" basis, making the same brands, products and labels.
South Pacific Sera
Located near Timaru South Pacific Sera (established by William and John Rolleston) produces top quality donor animal blood, serum and protein products for use in therapeutic, cell culture, microbiology and immunology applications around the world, and has operated in the biologicals field since 1988, building up an international reputation for quality, and service. They are also a GMP contract manufacturer (OEM) with capabilities in cell culture, sterile filtration, protein purification, vial filling and freeze drying.
The Timaru area with its strong agricultural base is well suited to South Pacific Sera's operations and is supplemented by a sophisticated food manufacturing and fermentation infrastructure. The area also has international freight links through Christchurch International Airport and the Port of Timaru providing direct sea and air services to Asia, North America and Europe. The company employs just over 50 people.
Gordon Handy Machinery
Gordon Handy Machinery Limited was started by Gordon with help from his dad and another partner in 1979. Since its inception the company has been based on the same site at Washdyke, Timaru. Steady growth, a change of name and shareholding so that the Handy family has full control were combined with expansion of the buildings onsite over the first 15 years or so.
In 2004, an acquisition saw the Oamaru branch taken up and 3 years later in 2007 another acquisition meant that the remaining 4 branches – Blenheim, Nelson, Kaikoura and Greymouth – came into the company structure.
Unlimited opportunity and strong proven support in South Canterbury. Check Industrial Hub , Foodbowl and Construction Industry partners