By Steve Sexton, Head of Produce, Countdown
"Braeburn is one of the most popular varieties of apples in New Zealand, with more than five million apples selling locally every year, not to mention high international demand. Countdown has recently made the decision to offer only certified organic Braeburn apples across our stores nationwide, instead of conventionally-grown when in season. It’s a key way we’re responding to what matters to our customers.
Demand for organics is growing at more than twice the speed of the conventional market. Eight out of ten New Zealanders buy organic products at least fortnightly, and the core reasons are the taste, their health and a desire to look after the environment.
We’ve been working closely with our organic growers for several years now, and these relationships help us remove some of the additional costs of growing organic, and pass these savings to our customers through lower organic prices.
According to last year’s New Zealand Organic Sector Market Report, 75 percent of customers who are regular organic purchasers say they rely on certification to determine if a product is organic. Countdown’s organic Braeburn apples are certified by BioGro, and we’re also in the final stages to become the first large supermarket chain in New Zealand to gain organic certification with AsureQuality across the majority of our stores.
An increasing number of Kiwis are really focused on their health and wellness and organic products are seen to be the pinnacle of this range. Countdown is focused on developing its organic range, particularly fresh produce, to make organics more widely available at cheaper prices wherever we can, so that more New Zealanders can buy organic.
Countdown’s supplier of organic Braeburn apples is Bostock New Zealand, which started growing organic apples in 1996 and is the largest organic apple grower in Australasia. Owner John Bostock said they have seen a significant increase in demand for their range of organic products both here and globally.
“Growing healthy premium produce in partnership with nature is our priority. We want to leave the rivers and land in a good condition for future generations. We started our grower journey as conventional farmers, and after having young children and seeing the liberal use of pesticides and artificial substances, like many of our customers, we had concerns, and this encouraged us to start looking for healthier alternatives. In 1996 we converted our farm to organic, and now we export to more than 20 countries around the world.” said John.
If you haven’t tried them already, get into Countdown today and pick up some organic Braeburn. And if you’re interested in talking to us about the increased demand for organic, please get in touch."