Dell, Ross and Roger Bawden of Oceanview Orchard


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2022 Finalists: Dell, Ross and Roger Bawden of Oceanview Orchard – Kiwifruit, Beef and Lamb

Over the past 30 years, an uneconomical Te Puke property has been transformed into a thriving, profitable kiwifruit orchard under the careful stewardship of the Bawden family.

Since buying the property, Ross, Dell and Roger Bawden have explored forestry, sheep and cattle but all the while had dreams of growing kiwifruit. In 2003, after researching international food production trends, they made this dream a reality and planted their first four hectares of kiwifruit.

Oceanview Orchard is now a thriving a kiwifruit venture that is sustainable in terms of both profit and the environment. About 8ha of the 30ha property is in kiwifruit, taking up most of the flatland.

Production was stunning in 2020, with irrigation boosting the fruit size and well-managed storage. The 2021 year was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which put pressure on labour resources.

Several areas have been left in pasture and they’re used to run a successful small livestock operation with minimal inputs that includes Wiltshire sheep and trading cattle.

The Bawdens are using science to increase their understanding of nutrient management for both their own kiwifruit and for the benefit of the community. They’re currently hosting one of the most comprehensive nutrient and fertiliser trials ever seen in the kiwifruit industry.

Enhancing the natural beauty of the property is another priority, with plenty of sustainability initiatives underway, including development of wetland and native plantings.

With the business now well established, the family is devoting more time to taking others on a journey of greater environmental awareness. This includes helping to improve the health of the nearby Waihi estuary and its contributing watersheds.

Dell, Ross and Roger are the winners of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award and WaterForce Wise with Water Award.

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