Mark & Robbie Mayston, Bay of Plenty

Growing the business.


Farmlands and Ballance are helping a high-performance orcharding business stay in top form.

The Maystons, Mark, Robbie and their parents Peter and Jenny, run an orcharding business based in Omokoroa near Tauranga. They are significant players in the kiwifruit industry, with a major shareholding in a post-harvest operator, as well as holding executive positions in industry organisations. They have a strong drive to grow the business. As Mark says, “At the moment we do about 550,000 trays, but our aim is to get up to around one million over the next two to three years”.
Mark attributes their success to their management systems. “We sit in the top two percent of the country’s orchard gate returns and that is a reflection of our management style. We've put a lot of time, money and effort into creating a system we feel is second-to-none and we have done that with the help of our preferred partners, including Farmlands and Ballance.”

“Finding the right people to partner up with is so important and will become even more so because every year new pests and diseases come into the country and when they do you need to act. We rely on Ballance and Farmlands to be up with the play on new products, new risks and the best strategies for us.”

A good example of this partnership in action occurred during a recent pest incursion. Mark says, “The giant willow aphid appeared in the Bay of Plenty in a matter of 24 hours and although we don’t have a lot of willows left, where we did have them we got it pretty bad. We phoned Andrew [McIntosh] from Farmlands to get him down here to have a look and create a plan for how we were going to manage it. We were pretty successful with what we did and that was through his help.”

Ballance support is equally essential. “Our soils program is a really important part of what we do, I know a lot of growers who use the same fertiliser program year after year. Your soil changes on a regular basis, depending on your cropping load and whether you are in transition from one variety to the next; that's why it is really important to get it right.”
Summing up Mark notes, “We have a very strong relationship with Farmlands and Ballance, we get good service from them and they are very knowledgeable.”