Archive for July, 2011

Calling Hans….

I always find it fascinating to see one’s name “up in lights” anywhere.  No, it’s not actually me – distinguished looking I may be, but I’m not that silver haired just yet!

I guess when trying to sell a house if using a real estate agent is not working, there’s not much option other than to DIY it – and this billboard is a much more bold approach than, say, Trade Me

Fortunately names can’t be copyrighted, so I must think about how to use this concept myself…

Global Shrink

The world is a much smaller place than when I was at school.  I barely knew where Chile and New Zealand were, never mind ever seeing fruit grown there for sale in my local shop in Germany.

Yet here I am in a warehouse in Rotterdam, taking photos of southern hemisphere kiwifruit as spotted by the IFPS Board member for Chile, Tom Tjerandsen!

It’s a small world indeed…

Stop! Who goes there?

Whilst on the industry tour in Rotterdam in May, the group walked past this door.  First the colour, and then the sign, caught my eye.  It’s the entry door for the truck drivers that come to the tomato plant and is catering for the multinational labour force.

What really struck me was how different languages presented the instruction that the truck drivers were to report here. 

The Dutch and English versions are a simple and curt imperative, whereas the Spanish is a politely worded request.

Does the language reflect how these respective countries are perceived to go about their work, I wonder?

When is a tomato not a tomato?

When it thinks it is a strawberry, of course!

Or so the labelling on this punnet would have you believe…


It was the first time I had seen this new variety packaged by NZ Hothouse, proudly on display at Farro’s so naturally I had to buy some to try.

Well, I have to say they didn’t taste like strawberries, so maybe the name has something to do with their shape.

So – novelty impulse purchase with the potential to be a regular addition to the tomato range that’s now available on the supermarket? 

I don’t know, but I was curious enough to look out for them when I next happened to be in a “mainstream” supermarket, in this case a Countdown, but they weren’t to be found.  Did this mean that they are still a niche enough offering to be available only to the gourmands who frequent the specialist food stores or was I simply in the wrong Countdown?

At the Markets Part Three – The New Zealand Visitor

And by New Zealand visitor I don’t mean me!

No, having gone past the sushi and the asparagus, I came across some product from The Yummy Fruit Company:

It’s great to see our apples here, and at such a good price.  That’s Euros on that ticket, which roughly translates to NZ $6.80.  If it moves at that price, that’s got to be good news for the grower.

All good, then.

Well, no actually.

I have concerns about what I’m seeing here.

Yummy is supposedly a premium brand.  Is the size of the fruit, the shape, colour or skin markings seen in the photo above typical of a premium grade Braeburn?  I think not. 

So what gives?  I know John Paynter, founder and guardian of the brand, well enough to think that he would have concerns too.  Can New Zealand really afford to be sending subpar fruit to one of its most important markets and hope to maintain good grower returns? 

I really hope your answer is the same as mine:  NO.