A company from Nelson is investing millions to make classy snacks from reject gold kiwifruit that would be fed to cows or dumped. Thanks to local investors, in the last two years Little Beauties has raised more than $4 million to expand and automate the drying of kiwifruit, feijoas, and berries.
According to general manager Tristan Wastney, machines developed with assistance from Callaghan Innovation now do the work of about five people who used to peel, slice and place fruit on drying trays. Little Beauties co-founder Tristan Wastney says the new driers can hold up to 400 kilograms of fruit.
This year Little Beauties plans to process 150 tonnes of golden kiwifruit and Wastney says it is hugely satisfying reducing the amount of fruit going to waste.