Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd

Formed in 2012, Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd (COPF) captures a prized, niche export market. Representing a collaboration of local growers, it’s a marketing vehicle delivering the world’s best fruit to the global marketplace.

The provenance of fruit grown in Central Otago creates its premium value: for 125 years nature’s bounty has been carefully nurtured on family-owned orchards in a pristine, natural environment of brilliant blue skies, clear water and free-draining schist soils.

Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd

Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd


Collaborating for success is a way of operating at every link in the COPF chain. For growers, wholesalers and retailers, it’s a priority to deliver an exceptional, high-value product to exacting standards.

The 30 or so growers in the COPF collaboration exemplify a culture where relationships, knowledge and honour are sustained down the generations. The growers’ stories of hard graft, passion and perseverance in a climate of extremes give muscle to COPF’s product and brand.  

“It’s an industry that’s deeply cultural,” says COPF chair, Malcolm Macpherson.

“These businesses are built on generation after generation of strong family values and a deep respect for what the fruit-growing industry means…how things are grown, the way things are done here. Their feet are firmly planted in the soil. COPF knits together the environment, opportunity, culture and history and is making something special out of that.”
Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd

Co-existing to Grow

Central Otago value: Making a Sustainable Difference

Building a sustainable business means fostering both financial and environmental sustainability. It’s about co-existing, says one of COPF’s four directors, Earnscy Weaver.

“We need to work with our environment rather than against it, or we simply don’t have a fruit industry. We can’t afford to over water or waste water because that will give us poor fruit. And if we overdo the nutrition, the fertiliser, you’ll have poor fruit and wreck the trees.”

“But the first thing is financial sustainability, as you can’t be sustainable in any other way unless you’re financially sustainable. It’s about being there for the long haul and building strength for the growers, so they’ve got a more secure marketing platform.”

Claiming the Premium Space

Central Otago value: Adding Value

Doing things better and differently underpins COPF’s approach. The goal is to add value at every level and deliver the best for growers and consumers—including honing the marketing fundamentals to position Central Otago fruit as a niche product with an authentic and distinctive regional narrative.

“We’re constantly wanting the COPF concept to work for our partners, growers, the region and the customer and always asking ourselves if there is a better or different way. We’re managing new ways of getting fruit to market, new ways of enhancing value.”

“Our COPF fruit box comes with a back story and a vision…it’s got power. It’s not just another commodity product. There’s more to that box than the fruit in it. It’s about the strength of our growers’ heritage and stories. And about claiming the premium space.”

Staying True

Central Otago value: Having Integrity

The attributes of honesty, integrity and quality are critical to what COPF stands for, whether it’s in the cooperative relationships around the board table or the fresh, sweet flavour of a Central Otago cherry savoured by a happy customer in China. Earnsey says:

“I think this group really stands for integrity, community-mindedness and a truthful approach. I’m always amazed at their level of integrity and it crosses over into the respect thing, especially when you have meetings because they are really very open and honest. Not always everyone agrees but they come to an end point and I think that says a lot about the people.”

“It’s integrity that flows through in the heritage of our fruit, respect for the stories of our growers and for our special Central Otago region.”

Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd