Spotlight on : Keewai Farms Ltd.
A subsidiary of a large, internationally owned, forestry business, Keewai Farms utilises the many man-made ponds in tracts of exotic forest plantations of the lower South Island that are needed for emergency fire fighting.
The ponds are stocked with New Zealand's freshwater crayfish (Paranephrops zealandicus). To the Maori, "koura" are much prized as a delicacy but are sadly becoming rare around the rest of New Zealand.
Keewai Farms works with local Iwi, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Primary Industries to breed and restock other parts of the country, and to encourage other enterprises to start koura farms.
Fully sustainable, Keewai's koura are vegetarian, eating the natural flora that grows in the clean, undisturbed water free of the contamination from animal farming.
Over a short harvest time each year, Keewai hand nets and selects the best crayfish to be transferred to a collection and depuration site where they are held and allowed to clear their stomach contents before being shipped live in specially designed and chilled crates to discerning markets both in New Zealand and further afield.
Keewai Farms has won numerous awards in New Zealand for sustainability and enterprise.
It was the first enterprise to become a member of the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity.
You can learn more about Keewai farms and koura at http://keewai.co.nz