R J Flowers Ltd.
Ron, John , Wendy and Jan
To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.
– John Evans
Coming from a family of orchardists, both Wendy and John have had a passion for produce from an early age.
Ten months old and sitting in a fruit box watching his grandfather on the grader was John’s first exposure to the produce industry and growing up in that environment has given him an everlasting love of horticulture.
His grandparents owned an orchard and packhouse in Hastings where a young John and his brother earned pocket money picking fruit and making wooden boxes.
Most of the family helped in the orchard, through all kinds of weather and including weekends where the boys weren’t able to play as many social sports as they would have liked.
“Being a young kid it was tough but it definitely gave us a great work ethic and taught us that we had to work for what we got”.
Like John, Wendy also has strong memories of growing up in an orchardist family. Her grandparents would spend all day picking fruit and their evenings packing the fruit – often finishing up around midnight every night.
“I remember the grader that my grandparents used was made from New Zealand Rimu, a common source of wood for building houses back in the day and now very expensive. It’s amazing how things have changed since then.”
The birth of RJ Flowers…
Wendy’s father, Ron, started R J Flowers Ltd in 1968 with the intention of growing onions on a quarter acre of land which he leased for 1 pound ($2) at the time. It was a difficult time as he had no financial backing or capital but his hard work and determination to succeed paid off when he was later able to purchase 140 acres of highly fertile Twyford soil.
In the late 60s, Turners & Growers approached Ron with the plan to purchase onions from him which would then be exported to Japan. At the time Ron could only supply a few tonnes, but it was the start of a long term business relationship with Turners & Growers.
John and Wendy, having met and fallen in love as young horticulture cadets, worked with Ron to help grow the business by focusing solely on growing fruit – predominantly Jazz™ and Envy™ and also pears.
Today, John controls the company operations, Wendy manages the office administration and Ron manages the cool stores and engineering.
John and Wendy’s passion, determination and love of produce can not only be seen in the beautiful fruit they produce but in the successful partnership they have had with T&G over the past 45 years.