Rural based & family led values drives innovation


Forty five years of manufacturing world class food, and Barker’s of Geraldine are still on a corner of the original family farm, 8km from the South Canterbury town of Geraldine. The farm sits in the lea of the Four Peaks mountain range, beside the Te Moana River and surrounded by rolling pastures. The farm is a thriving business, making world class jams, chutneys, syrups and condiments. Barker’s is an integral part of the local community, employing around 150 local people, and always buys local produce whenever possible.

In 2014 Barker Fruit Processors approached The FoodBowl to trial a possible continuous cooking method. “The FoodBowl was the obvious choice for us…” Process Development Manager Richard George explains, “…it has all the right equipment, and relationships with subject matter experts which meant everything was seamless.” The product under development was a fruit and vegetable preparation. The FoodBowl set Barker’s up in a Suite that is geared up to process liquids, jams and purees and configured a line that included a ‘tube in tube’ tunnel pasteuriser. Other benefits that Barker’s experienced whilst utilising the The FoodBowl was the level of privacy The FoodBowl could provide as well as assistance from the resident process engineers to bounce off ideas with. After two separate trials in 2014 Barker’s were happy to conclude that the process worked. This confirmation meant they had a level of comfort knowing the process was proven while designing a new plant upgrade. In 2015 Barker Fruit Processors reached agreement to sell a majority stake to familyowned French company Andros, with Michael Barker retaining a significant shareholding in the business. The transaction is still subject to Overseas Investment Office approval. Andros is the world’s leader in premium jam, maker of the famous Bonne Maman brand Rural based & family led values drives innovation at its home factory in Biars, a small town of 2,000 people in the French countryside. Other fruit products include premium fruit juices and fruit snacks. Michael Barker, executive director of Barker Fruit Processors, said the sale would be a great boost for the company and the local economy. “Andros has a strong respect for what we have achieved so the existing management team will continue to operate the business unchanged. The ethos of both companies is aligned to a point where we are almost cut from the same cloth, albeit on a different scale. They are rural based, family owned with family led values and a strong sense of staff loyalty,” he said. Andros has a rich 60-year history in processing fruits and Barker’s could see huge merit in aligning its small New Zealand business with a global leader in fruit processing. “We are proud that they really liked our products and people and wanted to invest with us. Their international presence will provide opportunities for Barker’s products in export markets and their international product portfolio will provide exciting opportunities for Barker’s.” Barker’s intend utilising The FoodBowl in the future for their New Product Development needs.