Harvesting Blackcurrants in New Zealand

It’s another Blackcurrant harvesting time in New Zealand!

In this video produced by Mountain Edge Video Production, Vitality® New Zealand’s Director Jim Grierson shows the process of harvesting one of three blackcurrant varieties (suitable for BC extract production) grown in New Zealand: Ben Ard.

According to research carried out by Plant & Food Research, Ben Ard has the highest levels of anthocyanins among all blackcurrant varieties found in the market today. Hence, Ben Ard is Vitality® New Zealand‘s top choice of Blackcurrant variety to be used in all of its products.

We thank Bruce and Mandy Hamilton for allowing us to film the entire operation at their farm in Lakeside Leeston, Canterbury (January 2018).

NZ Blackcurrant Plant Breeding Program

From Planting to Harvest: Geoff Langford, founder of Berryworld, talks about his New Zealand Blackcurrant breeding program at Plant & Food Research, in Lincoln (Canterbury).

Geoff and Jim have a chat about how new blackcurrant varieties naturally emerge through a process called “crossing” which leads to the growth and selection of the best New Zealand blackcurrant plants for the market.

Seedlings are carefully selected and grown in the nurseries at Plant & Food Research. They are later planted in the field and the best producers are later selected for breeding, and so on. This selection process, says Geoff, takes about 10 to 12 years for a new marketable blackcurrant variety to emerge!

The entire process, from plants to grow and start producing fruit, takes about 15 years. It all occurs naturally and all these amazing researchers do is select the best producing plants and also most resistant to diseases for the breeding program. GMO-free!

Excellent stuff!