Pongs Creek Orchard is situated in Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. It is bounded by the Pisa Mountains to the west, and the Clutha... read more >
The industry can be accurately described as “boutique”. Orchards are small in size and often managed by owner operators who employ part time staff and... read more >
New Zealand cherries are large with a distinctive flavour and rich colour. Cherries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. They contain significant levels... read more >
Once the fruit has been picked it is transported immediately to the packhouse where it is hydro cooled with pure cold Central Otago water... read more >
The New Zealand cherry export season is short, running from early January to mid February. Pongs Creek Cherries can make arrangements for the efficient export of New Zealand cherries... read more >
If you want to find out more, send us a message and we’ll get back to you within 48hrs... read more >
It is bounded by the Pisa Mountains to the west, and the Clutha River to the east. Located 35kms north of Cromwell, the land was once a glacial river bed, and now forms part of an extensive river terrace consisting of free draining healthy soils ideally suited to cherry growing. The orchard currently has 5 hectares planted, approximately 3,250 trees. In an ideal growing season the orchard will produce 40-50 tonne of export fruit.
The orchard is owned and operated by the Roberts family, who are active each day to ensure production of premium quality fruit for export. The orchard takes its name from Pongs Creek, a mountain stream which flows through the Roberts Family property at Cardrona in Central Otago. That stream is named after Pong Woo, a village in Guangzhao province where many of the Chinese gold miners came from during the Central Otago gold rush in the 1870s.
Pongs Creek Orchard is NZGAP accredited (New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice), and follows New Zealand`s Summer Green Protocol. An online weather and data collection system forms an integral part of the orchard management programme. Relevant and up to date data enables targeted insect control. Regular leaf and soil sample analysis ensures accuracy in the application of fertilisers.
The industry can be accurately described as “boutique”. Orchards are small in size and often managed by owner operators who employ part time staff and contract labour during times of high activity. The predominant cherry growing region in New Zealand is Central Otago, located in the South Island, at a latitude of approximately 45 degrees south. The climate in Central Otago is temperate, with cold winters, a short hot summer and very low humidity. With 16 hours of sunlight daily and a large diurnal temperature range Central Otago cherries have a high concentration of sugars, firm flesh and dark red colour.
Cherries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. They contain significant levels of anthocyanins which provide the distinctive red colour. Anthocyanins have attracted interest for their antioxidant activity but are now being linked to a wide variety of health benefits.
The Pongs Creek Cherry orchard grows two varieties of cherry, Staccato and Sweetheart. Both varieties produce large fruit, dark red in colour, with firm red flesh. The fruit matures toward the end of the New Zealand season, late January/early February and can be kept in excellent condition once harvested if kept cool.
Export quality fruit ranges in size from 26mm to 32mm. The fruit is handpicked and goes into the “cold chain” within an hour of coming off the tree.
Hydro cooling ensures the fruit retains freshness and flavor, and maximizes the storage potential. The water contains a chlorine based sanitizer (concentration 5 parts per million). This is the only treatment the fruit is subject to during the quality control and packing process, ensuring the cherries arrive at market in the same condition in which they came off the tree. The fruit is packed into 1kg, 2kg, or 5kg boxes and enclosed in a polyliner which modifies the gas atmosphere and reduces water loss. The cherries are readied for dispatch a matter of hours after harvest. Once packed the cherries are kept at a constant temperature and with minimal handling, the fruit will remain in excellent condition for some weeks.
Pongs Creek Cherries can make arrangements for the efficient export of New Zealand cherries to most Asian destinations. All cherry exports are conducted under NZHEA (New Zealand Horticultural Export Authority) licence on behalf of New Zealand registered cherry growers. All our export fruit passes strict New Zealand Horticultural Export Authority quality control benchmarks.
Export cherries are packed into 1kg 2kg 5kg boxes to suit the importer’s requirements. Generally cherries are airfreighted to market using LV3 or LV5 containers (1,200kg,2,500kg respectively), and land at their Asian destination within 48 hours of harvest.
May 16, 2017
Winter has arrived in Central Otago. Overnight temperatures have dropped below zero, and there is snow on the mountain tops.
Sep 26, 2016
It is early spring in New Zealand. The buds have greened, and the trees will be in full bloom within the next two weeks.
If you want to find out more, send us a message and we’ll get back to you within 48hrs