The fine print reveals that although these bags of summery goodness are packaged here, the contents are grown overseas.
Frozen berries are a must-have product in the winter months. They brighten up a smoothie and remind you of summer, they make a quick jam to perk up your toast and stirred into ice-cream they are delicious.
They also have the added advantage that they are low in sugar and big on flavour and nutrition.
These berries caught my eye because they were organic and locally grown, I thought.
Approximately 1/3 of each:
Blueberries are high in antioxidants and also contain manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibre. These are organic which is great as it means there is no use of pesticides or nasty fertilisers. The Oob website says that "Organic fruit is likely to be higher in vitamins and minerals as the fruit has not been drained of their goodness through the use of chemicals or genetic engineering. Oob plants are fertilised using organic chicken manure and left to the natural wonders of sunny Omaha."
The only problem is that these blueberries, according to the very fine print at the very bottom of the packet under the Best Before date, are from Chile. No sun from Omaha on these berries.
Raspberries are also high in vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. These too are organic (see above) but these are also included in the fine print at the bottom of the packet. They come from Chile also.
Strawberries are also high in vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. These are also organic (see above) but these are also included in the fine print at the bottom of the packet. They come from Turkey.
What does organic mean?
According to the packaging these berries are certified organic by Asurequality. This is a commercial company owned by the New Zealand Government. According to its website it "supplies independent, impartial, third party auditing, testing, inspection and certification services to organic producers, processors and retailers in the dairy, meat, seafood, horticulture, wine and arable sectors."
So you can be assured that these berries are organic.
I always try to buy local and this packet assured me that the company was in Omaha, Matakana - just up the road from Auckland, really. It also said on the packet that Oob organic is "committed to honest, premium products made the right way. We bring our orchard, factory and farm together to give you genuine, delicious berries."
I see nothing honest or genuine about the fact that the entire package of frozen berries came from Chile and Turkey, not New Zealand. The only clue that they are perhaps not a wonderful, local product ripened in sunny Omaha is that it says "Packed in New Zealand" and then right down the bottom there is a machine print giving us country of origin.
As it stands there is no law which says producers need to put this on their packaging, so it is good that Oob have done this. Their website also gives country of origin details under product information but the overall impression is that these berries were locally grown and that's not okay.
This summer, do as I will be doing. Buy up berries when they are at the end of the season and nice and cheap and freeze them yourself for the winter.
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