Farm for our future

We think recycling is easy.  We also think that it’s a great idea, good for the reputation of our products and country, beneficial for the environment, better for the health of farming families, workers, animals and land…  and so the list goes on.  But we would say that, wouldn’t we?

So, don’t take our word for it, see what other farmers and growers have to say…

Want to showcase what great environmental action you’re taking on your farm?  We’re running a “Farm for our Future” video competition for rural kids and schools from March to June.  With a prize pool of $2,000, you’ll want to find out more!

Ian Ridge
Arable farming
Canterbury

Judy Begovich
Dairy farming
Waikato

Callum Thomsen
Contract spraying
Hawke’s Bay

Anton Rasmussen
Viticulture
Marlborough

Chris Pescini
Vegetable growing
Horowhenua

Paul Paynter
Orchardist
Hawke’s Bay

Ian & Gemma Passey
Dairy farming
Manawatu

Ian Ridge

JF Ridge and Sons
Arable and lamb finishing – Highbank, Canterbury

Ian Ridge and his brothers, Brian and Peter, operate a 670ha arable and lamb finishing farm at Highbank near Methven. They’ve been using Agrecovery for six years.

“Recycling with Agrecovery is a really simple process and just a no-brainer,” says Ian.

“You’ve got chemical containers that would be a problem and someone is offering to take them away. Why would you not do that?”

The plastic from the recycled containers are processed here in New Zealand and made into underground cable cover.

For Ian, this is part of the appeal: “Agrecovery is a system where the containers are used in a way that’s better than what we used to do when we burned them many years ago or put them in the ground where they were just a problem.”

“You’ve got chemical containers that would be a problem and someone is offering to take them away. Why would you not do that?”

Ian, Brian and Brent Ridge

from left to right: Ian, Brian’ s son Brent, and Brian Ridge

Brian emptying rinsate into spray tank during triple rinsing

Brian emptying rinsate into spray tank during triple rinsing

Triple rinsed containers stored upside down

Triple rinsed containers stored upside down

Judy Begovich

Begovich Farms
Dairy farming – Morrinsville, Waikato

It’s hard not to feel the pressure to look after the land when you live in such a beautiful valley as Judy Begovich. Judy’s been farming this land at Kiwitahi with her husband, Mark, since 2001.

“Agrecovery really helps us watch our footprint and be a good steward of the land,” she says.

“I started using Agrecovery because we were already recycling at home and we wanted to do more on the farm.”

And with finances tight in the dairy industry at the moment, the Agrecovery drum programme provides free on-farm pick up for participating brand owners, so as Judy says, “why wouldn’t you use it?”

“The booking system on the website was so easy to use. I’m not very good with computers, so if I can use it anybody can!”

Judy also takes her smaller containers to her local Agrecovery collection site.

“I expect the next generation will do a lot better than past generations, because this is such an easy system. Back in the day, everything used to get burned and buried. Now you only have to make a booking and you’re making a difference.

“It’s just really easy.”

“Agrecovery really helps us watch our footprint and be a good steward of the land”

Begovich Farms

Judy Begovich

Collecting drums on farm

Callum Thomsen

CT Contracting
Contractor – Patoka, Hawke’s Bay

Callum believes recycling is the right thing to do for the environment, but also for future generations: “When the programme became available we thought “yeah it’s the right thing to do, we’ll use it”.

“In the old days containers went into the landfill and they were buried. But it’s not the responsible thing to do.

“Now we triple rinse the containers into the spray unit and that’s put on the paddock. When we have enough containers, on the back of the ute they go, and into Wrightsons in Napier.”

Callum admits that in the past recycling isn’t something they have talked to their customers about but that’s going to change: “As we move into the future the use of Agrecovery is certainly something that we will encourage and make our customers more aware of.

“Recycling’s something we also encourage with our children. We recycle at home, we recycle the spray containers here. And with programmes like Agrecovery it’s just becoming easier and easier to do it.

“We really believe that good environmental practices are good for the land and for the future.”

“I want to show my kids that I’m taking care of the land long-term.  No shortcuts.”

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Callum and 4 year old Payton

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Rainy days are perfect for recycling…

And playing in muddy puddles!

And playing in muddy puddles!

Anton Rasmussen

Marisco Vineyards
Viticulture and livestock – Waihopai Valley

Marisco Vineyards in Marlborough have 2400 ha spreading across the Waihopai and southern valleys. 1000 ha of that will be grapes and they’re now also sheep and beef farmers.

According to Anton Rasmussen, Marisco’s General Manager for Viticulture, environmental practices are important for their business. “It’s something we believe in; it’s not just a matter of process. It’s ensuring we’re doing right by the land but also doing right by our customers.”

Marisco started using Agrecovery right from the start: “It was important for us as a company; we wanted to ensure that we recycled all our materials, not only our spray containers but any material we could, to try and avoid all that waste going into landfill.”

Anton is keen to ensure that they “do right by Mother Nature”, as he puts it.

“We really do have an effect on what we’re doing, that’s why these Agrecovery programmes are important. It will affect the generations to come if we’re not looking after the land.”

Anton would encourage companies that don’t support Agrecovery to get involved. “It’s now becoming so important that we will move to only use chemical companies that do support Agrecovery.”

“We want to ensure the generations to come have the ability to farm and enjoy the land as we do.”

Anton Rasmussen

left to right – Matt Mitchell (GM Winery), Anton Rasmussen (General Manager – Viticulture), Jeremy Brown (Production winemaker) at Marisco Vineyards

Marius Kennedy, Waihopai River Vineyard Manager, preparing drums for recycling at Marisco Vineyards

Chris Pescini

Pescini Brothers
Grower – Levin, Horowhenua

Levin-based Pescini Brothers were keen to get a local Agrecovery collection site after they had heard about the introduction of the recycling initiative: “We worked through our local growers’ committee to get a site open in Levin in 2009 as the nearest sites were Palmerston North and Otaki,” says Chris Pescini.

They have been recycling ever since.

“It’s pretty simple – I hate seeing plastic lying around. In the old days everyone just burned it or put it in the landfill. Now you just put the triple rinsed containers on the truck and take it in for recycling.”

Chris grows potatoes, onions and maize together with his father, John, and brother, Andrew.

As a 4th generation grower with sons who help out in the business, he believes that each generation is becoming more and more environmentally friendly. “Good environmental practices are important; we have to think about the next generation and the generation after that.”

“I’d encourage anyone to use the Agrecovery programme: just make use of it!”

“Good environmental practices are important; we have to think about the next generation and the generation after that.”

David and Chris Pescini

David and Chris Pescini

Pescini Bros grow onions, spuds and maize

Pescini Bros grow onions, spuds and maize

Triple rinsing on a rainy Otaki day

Another recycler who makes the most of a rainy day to triple rinse their containers

Paul Paynter

Johnny Appleseed / Yummy Fruit Company
Orchardist – Hastings, Hawke’s Bay

When the guys from Johnny Appleseed say recycling with Agrecovery is easy, they should know. They have collectively recycled over 15,000 containers since 2008.

“Agrecovery helps us meet our audit and compliance requirements. And while it’s not the key reason we do it, it’s essential for Global Gap, BRC, New Zealand Food Safety and other programmes,” says director Paul Paynter.

Paul is the fifth generation of this family-oriented business, better known for its Yummy fruit brand. He says that looking after the land long term has always been a central factor in their decision making.

“For our customers, environmental issues are important but for us they are even more significant. For obvious reasons, we’re pretty passionate about the intergenerational nature of the business and its future sustainability.”

Paul believes that taking individual responsibility is a key part of environmental decisions and Agrecovery enables growers collectively to make a difference.

“Not everyone has high volumes to recycle, but either way it’s the best and easiest solution for empty containers.”

“Agrecovery is the best and easiest solution. It enables us, collectively, to make a difference.”

Paul Paynter, director at Johnny Appleseed

Paul Paynter, director at Johnny Appleseed

Inspecting the new crop

Inspecting the new crop

Paul's father John in 1949 sitting on top of a load of stonefruit, with his father and uncle

Paul’s father John in 1949 sitting on top of a load of stonefruit, with his father and uncle

Ian Passey

Dairy farming – Pohangina Valley, Manawatu

“I think New Zealand farmers are quite environmentally friendly simply because of our low cost farming system. I think some of the criticisms levelled at farmers in general are often unfair and of course the main challenge is that some people don’t want to believe it anyway.”

A 4th generation farmer in the Valley, Ian believes that environmental practices are only going to get better and better.

“It’s clear that the younger the generation, the more interest they have in recycling, but for most farmers that old adage remains true – farmers want to leave their land in a better state than they found it.”

With only a small number of containers each year Ian believes that recycling may be peripheral to running a farm but he believes it’s simply good farming practice.

“I believe there’s a parallel between good farming and leaving your land in better condition, and of course there is a deep satisfaction in doing so, whether you’re passing your land on to family or someone else.

“It’s part of how the majority of farmers are wired. Plus, recycling is really easy.”

Ian and Gemma - cropped

Gemma, aged 7, with Sarge likes helping out on the farm

All hands on deck during calving.

All hands on deck during calving.

Ian is 4th generation on this Pohangina Valley farm

Ian is 4th generation on this Pohangina Valley farm

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