With backgrounds in horticulture, Steve and Jo Daley decided to grow saffron for their own personal use. A few years on and they now have commercial sized saffron fields with millions of mature corms and are stocked in some of New Zealand’s leading supermarkets. We caught up with the pair to learn more about their growing business.
What is your company background, how did you start the business? Who are the owners (first and last names)?
Based out of Te Anau, 100% Kiwi Saffron Ltd is owned and operated by Steve and Jo Daley. “Our business grew from a random idea to plant 500 corms for our use back in 2013 to the commercial sized saffron fields we have now, with millions of mature corms.”
Both had a background in horticultural giving them a good understanding of what it takes to grow healthy productive corms. “Our land is elevated, fertile and is surrounded by pristine Fiordland mountains. We are to our knowledge the southernmost grower of saffron anywhere. High UV light here concentrates all aspects of our saffron particularly the colour, flavour and aroma. Consequently, only a third is required, compared to the imported product. It’s simply the best.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market? (Are they gluten-free? Do they utilise unique or new ingredients or techniques? Are they the only one of its kind?)
“Our Te Anau property is certified organic Biogro 5722 which we are extremely proud of. We do buy in inorganic saffron from our network of NZ growers, grown to our strict specifications to ensure a top-quality product.” Kiwi Saffron is available in both certified organic or inorganic form, labelled and packaged according to Food Act 2014 regulations.
Variants sold are 0.1g outer packs of 20, this pack size is a serve for six and is a popular supermarket line. 0.5g, 1g, 2g, 5g saffron is available in threads and powdered form and is supplied in recyclable food-grade tins for retail and wholesale supply.
“Our 5g tin is a new product available in certified organic and inorganic forms for the true saffron addicts. Kiwi Saffron is gluten free and vegan-friendly, tested annually in Europe to ISO standard, and is free from synthetics and dyes.”
“A trusted and pure food, 100% Kiwi Saffron is NZ grown, unlike most saffron that is imported or sold online from overseas. Our locally grown product is always consistent in quality as maintaining a high level of customer service is important to us. The saffron is picked and dried on the same day to preserve freshness and vitality.”
Has there been any recent company news? (i.e. New management, new product launches, new location, staff changes, or other news of this kind, awards?)
“We’ve entered 100% Kiwi Saffron in the Artisan awards. Our saffron is currently stocked in high-end restaurants, health food shops, cooking schools, direct website sales, wholesale sales and with distributors.”
“Looking forward, we are researching added value uses for the saffron plant. Dried saffron petals have been added to our website and are popular with paper/soap makers and general crafts. We have also added saffron infused raw clover honey to the website. A wonderful product from our own beehives and a combination of two pure foods.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We are always striving to extend our list of restaurants both in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, and to promote the growth of the saffron industry in New Zealand. Growing saffron is a good alternative land use in areas of drought, use of water is minimal.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“We always welcome direct contact; it’s as easy as sending us an email or picking up the phone. Our customers always appreciate being able to speak directly to the grower. We are proud and passionate about our product, and all steps along the way from paddock to plate.”
Kiwi Saffron’s supermarket line is available at Foodstuffs North and South Island stores, Pak n Save, Foursquare stores, Farro Fresh, Raeward Fresh and selected gourmet grocery suppliers. They can also be found in high-end restaurants and selected health food stores.
For more information contact Steve or Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone them on 027 856 2867 or head to their website www.kiwisaffron.com.