Did you know New Zealand's leading retail pesto brand Genoese is made in Levin?

Genoese is making sure everyone knows it who buys its products with new rebranding.

Their new labels and packaging will now read 'Genoese established 1993 in Levin'.

The company grows its fresh basil in Fiji, importing it back to Levin where it's processed into pesto at the CD Farm Road plant.


Ron Parkin and his son Sean Kerins started Genoese in 1993.

An asparagus grower in Horowhenua during the 1980s, Parkin tried growing asparagus in Fiji in at attempt to step the business up another gear and produce a higher quality and volume of asparagus, however the Fijian climate proved unsuitable so he tried other options, discovering the Fijian climate was perfect for growing basil.

It grew like a weed, large and aromatic and so Parkin began to make pesto.

Parkin's son Andrew, Genoese chief executive said the business has flourished and now produces 160 tons of pesto per year, employing 16 local staff.

"I feel proud to be part of a group of producers that are putting Horowhenua on the map," he said.

Now the number one retail brand in New Zealand, Genoese supply hotels, cafes, restaurants and other hospitality sectors.

During the Horowhenua Taste Trail Genoese will be opening its doors to the public for the first time in its history.

"We wanted to show off what Horowhenua has to offer. There are a lot of hidden and untold success stories in Horowhenua and we have decided to tell ours," Andrew said.

Head along to Genoese during the Horowhenua Taste Trail and see first-hand the pesto-making process as well as the opportunity to enjoy the taste sensation of Genoese pesto on top of a wood-fired pizza.

Horowhenua Taste Trail, Saturday November 12, free taste trail showcasing nine Horowhenua specialist food producers and a farm tour - RJ's Licorice, Woodhaven Gardens, Tendertips Asparagus, Genoese Pesto, Turks Poultry, Ohau Wine, Levin Eels, Country Treats, Woody's Free Range Farm.

- For more details check out the Horowhenua Taste Trail Facebook page or visit www.tastetrail.co.nz/