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JS Ewers celebrates 50 years of growing in New Zealand

This year marks 50 years since one of New Zealand’s market gardeners, JS Ewers, started growing fresh produce on the fertile Waimea plains near Nelson.

“This milestone offers us a great opportunity to reflect on our history as a business and recognize the many people who have been part of our success over the past 50 years,” says JS Ewers’ General Manager, Pierre Gargiulo.

The business was very different back in 1972 when the original owners, John and Margaret Ewers, purchased an orchard property at Blackbyre Road in Appleby. They quickly transformed it from fruit production to an outdoor vegetable growing operation. The Ewers’ started growing tomatoes in indoor plastic houses in 1983 and invested in the first glasshouse in 1991.

Bobby Furby, Anton Drazevic, Pierre Gariulo, and David Price.

The current owners, Marketing Gardeners Ltd (trading as MG), became involved in the management of the business in 2012.

In 2022 the large growing operation will produce tomatoes, eggplants, and capsicums in 13 hectares of indoor hothouses along with 19 lines of fresh outdoor vegetables across 250 hectares of land.

Over five decades, JS Ewers has developed into a modern growing operation focused on continually increasing efficiency and introducing the latest sustainable growing practices.

Bobby Furby, Anton Drazevic, and Pierre Gargiulo.

Local employer
JS Ewers has also been a large employer in the Tasman region, with a current team of 150 permanent workers supported by a further 40 seasonal staff.

“Hundreds of people have shaped our business and helped to make JS Ewers what it is today – including John and Margaret Ewers, current owners Market Gardeners Ltd, our past and present employees, their families, and of course the large number of New Zealand customers who continue to support our business by purchasing our product,” says Pierre Gargiulo.

“Our people are proud that JS Ewers has taken pride of place on the shelves of produce departments and greengrocers for the last 50 years.”

“As JS Ewers looks ahead, we can be proud of our past and confident in our future. We’re already planning for what our growing operation looks like across the next half-century and beyond.”

Truck loading, Geoff Lamont.

Celebrating 50 years
In addition to inviting original owners John and Margaret Ewers to attend an event with the team, the growing operation is marking the milestone by gifting fresh produce to local charity partner Kai Rescue. JS Ewers currently donate ten crates of fresh produce each week to the local charity, and on 13 October, they will work with Kia Rescue to supply a further 50 cartons to 50 different local community organizations.

“We’re a genuine part of the community and have been a long-standing supporter of local activity,” says Pierre. “Given the support we receive back from the community, it seems fitting we use this occasion as an opportunity to give back.”

Former owner John Ewers speaking.

For more information:
JS Ewers
Ellery Tappin
General Manager Communications
021 226 3005 

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