The Levin property is unique for its size and crop diversity – 23 different vegetables, plus maize and ryegrass to improve soil health and reduce nutrient losses. Annually, they sell 27 million individual vegetable units which is about 10% of the national supply, and contribute between $30–35mil to New Zealand’s GDP.
In recent years, Woodhaven has significantly invested in reducing its environmental impact, adopting a science-led approach that balances conservation with commercial success.
The judges said major changes to farming practices have resulted in a significantly reduced environmental footprint, with further improvements ongoing.
“Woodhaven is a leader in research for the vegetable industry – contributing time, money and land in order to measure and provide evidence. This large-scale fresh vegetable growing operation is driving change in environmental sustainability.”
They commended the Clarkes for shifting production areas in order to reduce nitrogen loss and minimise the impact on water quality.
Woodhaven’s owners and directors view the farm holistically – growing for themselves while also enriching the lives of their staff, community, local iwi and environment. Their approach has been shared with Horticulture New Zealand and is being rolled out to other growers in the region.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, they also received the:
- Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
- Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
- Synlait Climate Stewardship Award
- WaterForce Wise with Water Award