A Legacy of Growth and Innovation: The Story of Scottfresh

In the fertile lands of Marshlands, on the outskirts of Christchurch, Robert Scott planted the seeds of what would become a renowned name in the world of vegetable growing. In the 1970s, he embarked on a journey to cultivate quality produce, including broccoli, lettuce, corn, onions, pumpkins, potatoes, peas, and carrots. His dedication and pioneering spirit made him a respected figure in the region, setting the stage for future success.

As the years passed, Robert's son, Ben Scott, stepped into the role of stewardship, continuing his father's legacy with passion and determination. In 2003, Ben made the bold decision to expand operations, venturing into winter lettuce production in Conway Flats, North Canterbury. This move, though daring, proved fruitful, thanks to the unique microclimate identified by local farmer Tom Macfarlane.

Meanwhile, the Marshland operation evolved, with Scottfresh relocating its summer production to Southbridge, mid-Canterbury, where a new chapter began. Recognizing the importance of innovation and quality, the company embraced advancements such as bagging and pre-cooling iceberg lettuce, revolutionizing post-harvest practices.

In 2009, Scottfresh made its largest investment yet, acquiring a custom-built vacuum chiller, ensuring superior freshness and extended shelf life for its products. This commitment to excellence aligned with the company's environmental values, reducing food waste and transportation emissions.

As the years went by, the winter operation at Conway Flats expanded steadily, with 60-70 hectares dedicated to growing iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and baby leaf crops. In 2014, Scottfresh diversified its production further, adding baby leaf varieties such as baby spinach and mesclun to its repertoire.

Yet, the logistical challenges posed by managing two separate operations prompted a strategic shift. In 2016/2017, the decision was made to sell the Southbridge farm and invest in a new property near Spotswood, just 30 minutes south of Conway Flats. With over 100 hectares of fresh ground, the focus shifted solely to lettuce and broccoli production, streamlining operations for greater efficiency.

The journey of Scottfresh continues with a recent significant development: the purchase of a farm on the coast at Claverley, securing the company's future in North Canterbury. Over the last 18 months, we have converted over 100 hectares of sheep and beef land into prime horticultural land, marking a new chapter in the company's growth trajectory.

From its humble beginnings to its current stature as an operation spanning over 200 hectares, Scottfresh exemplifies the spirit of innovation, resilience, and growth. With a commitment to quality, sustainability, and community, Scottfresh looks forward to continuing its legacy of excellence in the years to come.