Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Robin Oakley wins HortNZ Environmental Award for 2022

Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables Ltd. are excited to announce that they have won a 2022 Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award.

Oakley's win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Robin Oakley of Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables is a fifth-generation farmer from Canterbury. He established the business in 1999 and vertically integrated the farming operation. Oakley and his team grow on over 400 hectares and wash, grade and pack produce on site. The business grows potatoes, beetroot, broccoli, pumpkin, and other arable crops such as grass and oats. They are most known for their Outstanding Food Producer Award Winning Potatoes – Oakley’s Golden Gourmets.

In recent years, Oakley’s has taken considerable steps to reduce, monitor, and manage greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), nitrogen leaching, and improve soil quality, through initiatives such as the Sustainable Vegetable System project. The latest data indicates that across the farm, Oakley’s operates at 1.51 tones of CO2 emitted per effective hectare. This exceeds industry best practice and having GHG numbers dashboarded like this enables ongoing management and, where possible, an improvement on this number.

Oakley’s is on a journey of continuous improvement to be a sustainable and healthy food producer for New Zealand. They are proud that our efforts have been recognized as industry-leading by our peers.

In particular, Oakley’s have looked to power usage and installed 564 solar panels at the Southbridge post-harvest site in April this year. These 390-watt panels will account for around 40% of the site’s annual energy demands. It will equate to 35,00kg CO2 savings each year.

Oakley's win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

The approach to soil and plant nutrition management has moved away from general “know-how” to a more measured approach. Oakley’s has stepped up the volume of soil tests being done on the farm, opting to test the soil before, during, and after crops to get a better idea of nutrient levels and fertilizer requirements. In addition, many of the paddocks are e-mapped and micro soil testing takes place. These refinements have reduced the aggregate demand for nitrogen fertiliser and will continue to minimise the risk of nitrogen leaching.

Oakley's win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Caring for the land is a practice that has been passed down for generations on the family’s century farm in Halket. Robin has made strides to continue this legacy in 2022 with a greater emphasis on monitoring, technology, and innovation. These efforts were also recognized when Oakley’s received three Balance Farm Environment Awards in 2020

Oakley's win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Oakley’s looked forward to continually refining and innovating our growing and packing practices to deliver only the best fresh vegetables to kiwi families.

 

You can read more over in the New Zealand Herald here: Oakley’s win Horticulture New Zealand Environmental Award