A shared vision
Terry Jarvis and son Chris searched for ten years to find the place where potential was possible - to change the landscape of Avocado supply out of New Zealand.
It was an idea of legacy - to create something greater than here and now. Together we set out to find the very best possible, this led us into the Far North of New Zealand, a pristine environment rich with stunning landscapes and wild native flora. With the right sense of place, potential and opportunity; we developed one of the largest single orchards in Australasia, with an aim to provide International interests significant volumes of New Zealand fruit from one source.
Built upon shared vision this is a family business, a legacy grown to be passed through generations
Welcome to our new website, this is fresh produce (pardon the pun). We're very proud to have an internet presence, giving you an insight into what we're about and where we are. Please take some time to read a little about King Avocado's, and glance through some pictures about where we are & from.
In the orchard we have finished our 2011 Hass harvest. This is a beginning year for King Avocado, with a small harvest completed last year this is an important step towards our production capacity, with next years volumes to be another ten fold increase on this years. So we've relished this is a time to test our processes and look at improvements.
Thanks and best wishes
Chris, Ian & team
Merging Banking, Management and Marketing, and successful Viticultural / Winemaking projects, Chris brings a different view towards Avocado growing. With broad analytical and conceptual skills Chris relishes finding applications from theories, believing that improvement is in the detail and as the orchard develops so does that detail become more paramount.
‘King is the new generation of Avocado growing in NZ. We utilize advanced technology & management techniques to grow great fruit, and we look to elevate standards by moving away from NZ’s norm of production focused business, into a consumer driven strategy.
Years of producing world class wine has taught me that consumers have the ultimate say, their respect comes from over-achieving quality, and its our intention to develop King fruit so that when consumers see our produce in the market they can be assured of quality & product safety.
We’re extremely fortunate to grow in the best environment of this world, and we have a dedicated team whom are collectively committed to surpassing our goals and visions. Our benchmarks are lofty, from the soil health to satisfied consumers, at every point we work to be the best.’
Ian is our man onsite, managing the orchard from day to day as it grows, and implementing our longer term strategies.
He understands this environment well, with a background in forestry, including our neighbouring forest. In the early days he was involved in its planting process to stabilise the drifting sands and latter progressed to harvesting and higher management with the forestry organisation.
As his forestry management career progressed around New Zealand, so did a development in passion for horticulture with ownership in the very first trial Avocado blocks on the Aupouri peninsula. This time was valuable as he learnt to grow avocados on the “sands” and in time as the initial orchards flourished and produced fruit the area became well recognized as one of the prime sub tropical growing areas for avocados in the world.
Ian has been involved with us from the early stages. Assisting with the conversion of the property from a successful beef farm into now effective and productive avocado orchard, integrating technology and key management processes with a goal to provide sustainable and safe produce for consumers the world over. Therein, Ian has been the driving force in achieving King Avocado’s Global Gap status, the only orchard in New Zealand, giving you assurity of high quality and safe fruit.
As a narrow Island nation of the South, New Zealand’s coastal environment play a significant part in determining our weather systems. Whilst our latitude falls in the roaring forties (34 > 47 South), bringing anticyclones, low pressure systems and strong winds, our stretched geography with its mountainous spine actually intercept the predominant westerlies releasing the water laden clouds along our more southern west coast.
King Avocado Awanui orchard is situated in the Far North of New Zealand, a region locally viewed as the Winterless North. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of wind swept dunes, vibrant native forests, and idilic beaches with crystal clear waters, Northland exhibits many of the sub-tropic attributes our Pacific neighbors.
This Orchard is sited at a Latitude of 35 degrees South, with the Tasman Sea to the West & Pacific Ocean to the East, both approximately 2km from respective Orchard boundaries. Here we’re dominated by the warm and moderated maritime conditions. We generally miss the deep wet, and often cool, low pressure systems surging out of the sub-antarctic seas, but rather benefit from warm summertime high pressure systems sweeping down out of the tropics and the warm weather systems that glide across the Tasman from our Australian cousins.
New Zealand is a pure green environment, we naturally grow the highest quality produce for discerning consumers of the World. King’s Avocado Orchard in Awanui combines the best components needed, perfect climate, healthy soil and crystal pure water, these form the foundation of why we grow great avocado’s.
The King Orchard
Our focus is growing avocado’s of superior quality experience.
Our trees are managed in balance with their environment in a system of sustainable ecological horticulture that maximises natural input and controls anything synthetic. Every stage of our trees growth is measured and compared to ensure the tree is kept in balance and harmony with its age and environment.
Times long past left us with a unique growing platform, providing our trees an ideal foundation from which to reach out to the clear sky above. Our trees use this permeable platform, coupled with a cutting-edge technology, to grow strong healthy root systems, allowing us corresponding healthy growth above ground. Technology is an integral part of this highly tuned and precise farming system – however, it isn’t in charge. The people who look after the trees are the real heroes.
This orchard is based upon high density planting fundamentals, with planting commencing in 2006 and have continued to this day, using an evolving variety of planting materials, clones and seedling trees. Hass and Reed varietals are planted, with the former most prevalent. We look to optimize our canopy dynamics per hectare by using a variety of tools increase available fruiting space whilst restricting tree height and size, allowing our trees to have good airflow and sunlight inception, efficient inter-canopy operational practices and cost effective harvesting.
We benefit from encouraging our tree robustness by pushing healthy flower, which we flood with our own pollination Bees. Controlling our pollination activity is an important step to us, beginning our productive phase by a comprehensive set. We then carry this focus through all stages of fruit development and post harvest treatment, keeping experienced eyes and caring human hands fully involved through our fruit’s lifespan.
The Far North is rich in Maori history and to this day still contains an abundance of artifacts, shell midens and pa sites. This area of New Zealand was officially discovered by Captain James Cook on Christmas day 1769 and at the time was described as the “Desert Coast” due to the vast areas of sand split up by ancient rocky outcrops known as North Cape and Mount Camel.
What Captain Cook had sighted was in fact the results of 150,000 years of substantial geological events which had formed this unique and special place in New Zealand and can best described as the largest dune complex in the country.
The sands that make up the Aupouri Peninsula are a mixture from eroded sand from Orewa, Bay of Islands and Waikato River deposits which resulted from the erosion of an emerging New Zealand mainland. These sands were deposited offshore and over time were redeposited on the Peninsula by coastal currents and strong winds slowly joining up the remnants of the volcanic Islands of Mount Camel and North Cape.
100,000 years ago the area where King avocado is situated was actually underwater which eventually turned into land by way of sea levels lowering and deposited sands building up to form land. At the time the new Far North Peninsula was formed the world was emerging from the last ice age and although it remained warm through the coldest periods compared with most of the rest of New Zealand, sometimes had snow fall but at other times basked in trade winds.
Post 100,000 years the sea level dropped again so the new land stood high and wide enough for great forests to establish themselves but ongoing events such as sea level rises and falls saw vegetation come and go which is indicated by 45,000 year old Kauri logs which were discovered on King Avocado when it was planted.
It was in this time that the foundation of the substantial underground aquifer was laid down and to this day the avocado trees are irrigated from this resource which is located 140 m below King Avocado in a 30 m pure shell bed.
Evidence suggests that at least three layers of forest existed around the King Avocado area while further north geologist discovered seven distinct forests each above each other.
Geologists record four different series of dunes on the peninsula with the third stage being formed 5000 years ago which evolved into light soils when Maori discovered the north and used them for gardens to grow food.
The forth dune series is the one present today and provides an excellent free draining and fertile medium for growing avocados. This stabilised sand was not always the case as records indicate. In the 1920’s the shifting sands of the peninsula cased real issues in terms of access and sustainable agriculture .In the 1930’s real efforts were made to understand the problem and look at solutions to stabilise the dunes and prevent the ongoing encroachment.