Sustainability Champions: Oakleys Fresh Vegetables

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Oakley’s are industry leaders in harnessing the latest technology to minimise environmental impacts, like extensive use of on-farm moisture probes which accurately measure soil moisture and are used to forecast irrigation requirements in conjunction with up-to-date weather forecast information and crop demands.

Oakleys also carry out extensive soil and plant nutrient testing to ensure just the right amount and the timing of fertiliser applications are made to maximize the quality and yield.

These are some of the tools Oakleys use to work beyond best practice and have a truly sustainable business.

The Oakley Family are proud to announce the installation of 564 solar panels to power their Southbridge post-harvest site in Canterbury. 

Potatoes and broccoli will be packed and cooled in one of the South Island’s largest solar installations, providing for 40% of Oakley’s yearly energy demands, using 390-watt panels. Oakley’s worked with CPS Solar to implement the grid-tiered solar system.

Significant volumes of spuds will be washed and graded using natural sun power, including their award-winning Golden Gourmet Potato boxes. The outcome will be reduced carbon emissions and sustainable storing, washing, packing and dispatching of fresh vegetables across the country.

The family business is excited to take these next steps towards the United Nations sustainable development goal of affordable and clean energy, setting an example to fellow Kiwi farms.

The project compliments the three Balance Farm Environment Awards in 2020 for excellence in soil management, scientific monitoring and innovation.

Oakley’s will contribute to Aotearoa’s renewable electricity generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The New Zealand government aims to reach a 90% renewable electricity target with these types of solar approaches. You’ll be able to see more of the family in an upcoming GHG road mapping video due to be released early winter, made with the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

Oakley’s are committed to leaving the earth better than they found it and they’re proud to positively impact the New Zealand Potato Industry’s sustainable growth.