3 Feb 2014

Early processing after warm spell

7:41 am on 3 February 2014

Warm weather in Hawke's Bay during the early summer has given the fruit and vegetable processor Watties a jump start on the season.

For the first time in its 80-year history it's been able to can peaches in January, that doesn't usually start until the second week of February.

Heinz Watties agricultural manager Tim Agnew, who is based in Hastings, says other processing is also off to an earlier than usual start.

He says it's largely due to warmer temperatures and warmer nights which has lead to fruit and vegetables maturing 10 - 12 days earlier than usual.

Mr Agnew says it's coming into a very busy time with sweet corn, beetroot and tomatoes starting to pick up so any product that can be processed before that busy period is a major bonus.