2023 Finalists: Allan Fong & the Fresh Grower family of The Fresh Grower – Horticulture
The team at The Fresh Grower are focused on protecting and nurturing their rich Pukekohe soil as they strive to continue producing top-notch produce for consumers.
Led by Allan, Colin, Cameron and Daniel Fong, and Garry Yee, this family business has been successfully producing vegetables for 60 years, primarily for the domestic market.
This means the team has a deep knowledge of their market, their business and the 200ha property’s soils. They see the land as their factory, with all practices aimed at improving and enhancing this natural environment.
Among their most successful environmental initiatives is a 25% reduction in fertiliser use, achieved by tailoring inputs to seasons, crops and soils. They’ve also significantly reduced runoff by designing paddocks where the water flows through soil silt traps.
Every paddock’s soil is tested annually and biochar added to increase carbon levels. Cover crops ensure the soil is never left bare, while ploughing techniques are tailored to help maintain soil structure.
Practises and techniques have been altered to reduce the amount of soil lost through cultivation. By using GPS in tractors, they have reduced the number of passes – an approach that also uses less fuel. The direction of planting matches the prevailing wind, reducing spray drift onto adjacent properties.
Technology and knowledge guide the management of a huge variety of crops which are grown on rotation. All farm activity is recorded – from seed to harvest – providing valuable data to inform future growing and for consumers.
Being in tune with the needs of their 100 staff has resulted in an excellent team culture which contributes to the success of the business.
By continuing to care for the land, the team’s aim is to sustain production for future generations, and to continue surprising consumers with new products, textures and flavours.
Allan and Family are winners of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award and Rabobank Agri-Business Management Award.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards