24 Dec 2009

NZ cranberry industry endorsed

8:32 am on 24 December 2009

Efforts to establish a cranberry industry in New Zealand have been endorsed by a representative of a large cranberry co-operative in the United States.

A representative from the Ocean Spray company has visited small cranberry plots on the West Coast and in Hawke's Bay.

Cranberry New Zealand says it wanted to tap into Ocean Spray's technical expertise to help establish a nursery on the West Coast.

Chairman Bill Lee says a viable industry would need to produce 2000 - 3000 tonnes of berries per year, from more than 200 hectares. Currently about 8.5 hectares are in production.

Mr Lee says Cranberry New Zealand is holding discussions with its biggest financial backer, Development West Coast, about whether it will continue to support the growth of the industry.