Iconic Kiwi brand breaking ground in Kiwi peanut production
Food & Drink
Food & Drink

Iconic Kiwi brand breaking ground in Kiwi peanut production

A recent revelation for peanut butter lovers across the country, smooth or crunchy, is that New Zealand's very own Pic's Peanut Butter has chosen to trial peanut cultivation in it's own backyard.

Pic Picot, the entrepreneurial force behind Pic's Peanut Butter, shares his ambitious journey to establish a thriving peanut farming industry in New Zealand with REX host Dom George.

The conversation sheds light on Picot's collaboration with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Northland Inc., and local farmers to try growing its own peanuts in Northland, a region previously untapped for this purpose. Despite a challenging start with weather-induced setbacks that saw an initial crop rot in the ground, Picot reveals a significant improvement, with an expected yield of 20 to 25 tonnes of peanuts, a considerable leap from the 5 or 6 tonnes harvested previously. 

"I think we're starting to get the hang of it, so it's exciting," he says.

His optimism is evident as he discusses the high protein levels and taste profile of the locally grown peanuts, suggesting they could be superior to the imports from South America and Australia. Picot traces the origin of his peanut farming endeavour to a study by Ruben Carter on the viability of peanuts as a cash crop for Northland, sparking Picot's interest. 

He underscores the importance of establishing a local processing plant to clean, store, and prepare the peanuts for peanut butter production. This investment, Picot suggests, may require government support, given the complexity of determining the plant's size and the economic forecast for crop worth. 

In addition to agricultural innovation, Picot touches on the broader benefits of local peanut farming, such as job creation, reduced carbon footprint, and mitigating supply chain issues – a vulnerability highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It would be just amazing, especially in Northland," he says, considering the potential for spending a significant portion of the company's annual peanut expenditure within New Zealand. 

The episode also captures Picot's personal connection to the land, revealing his passion for environmental stewardship through his tree-planting endeavours on his Nelson property. He concludes the conversation by expressing his appreciation for the farming community.

"I've never met a farmer I don't like. It's fantastic. I really love being a part of that." 

Through Pic Picot's engaging narrative, listeners gain an insider's perspective on the challenges, innovations, and future prospects of New Zealand's peanut industry, all underpinned by Picot's commitment to local production and sustainability.

Listen to the full chat between Pic Picot and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

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