Home deliveries next step in duo’s organic journey

Entrepreneurship runs in the family (from left) Rose Clearwater (25), Fergus Clearwater (7 months...
Entrepreneurship runs in the family (from left) Rose Clearwater (25), Fergus Clearwater (7 months), Sam Clearwater (29) and partner Tyla Koia. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Brother and sister duo Sam and Rose Clearwater are the next generation of organic, entrepreneurial farmers.

Their Peel Forest farm was bought in 1999 by parents Bryan and Jackie Clearwater and converted from a rundown beef holding to dairy farm in 2000.

Yoghurt dreams started to take shape in 2003 after looking into niche markets, building two shipping containers next to their cow shed.

"We are still going strong 17 years later,’’ Sam said.

 Jackie and son Sam Clearwater continue to look for new business ventures.
Jackie and son Sam Clearwater continue to look for new business ventures.

 

"My dad is the one with all the crazy ideas, Mum makes it all work. It was their joint venture that started it all."

Their parents wanted to add value to their farm and deliver a healthy, organic product to the shelves.

"At the time everyone said why not go into milk? There was a lot of competition in the milk department and not many competitors in yoghurt, especially pot-set Greek-style yoghurt. There was next to nothing around.’’

They saw an opening and made a mark.

Now, they distribute seven organic yoghurt varieties alongside bottled milk, a rice pudding and clotted cream.

Sales have significantly dropped during Covid-19, especially through the retail sector, but they were continuing to adapt.

"We are reducing costs as we go, considering ourselves quite lucky to be able to be able to do so when sales drop. Utilising time while ensuring no wastage, with one manager on winter milking platforms and his partner working in the factory."

Covid-19 has brought back around the idea of home deliveries.

The team are hoping to start up a home delivery service with a local man who makes goat milk, wanting to deliver their milk and yoghurt to homes in South Canterbury.

"Lockdown has given us time to think. We are next looking into more of a natural Greek-style stewed yoghurt, which diversifies the product. The passion is there to continue with organics and making nutrient-dense foods."

The 29-year-old was engineering and travelling overseas, installing dairy sheds for the last six years before returning home to slowly work back into fulltime employment.

He and his partner have a 7-month-old boy named Fergus, which, along with Covid-19, has locked the passport for a while, he said.

His sister Rose (25) was studying at Victoria University before returning home to help the family business.

New World and organic stores such as Farro Fresh and Huckleberries (North Island) supply their products.

"From my point of view, if you have healthy soils you have healthy grass, you have healthy cows who make healthy milk and then healthy people. Our goal is to make fresh and healthy products to supply to the country.’’

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