We grow apples and pears
like no other apples and pears in the world.

The Heartland group has a unique vertically integrated structure. This means we know our apples’ journey intimately – from our tree to your door.


Heartland Fruit is owned by two orchardist families – all in the Nelson region of New Zealand.

Heartland Orchardist


We have developed our passion for apples into a fine craft. We call it Applecraft and it determines how we grow, harvest and celler our apples.



Only our apples. Grown only in our orchards.

But it doesn’t matter how you get your hands on an apple from Heartland, whether it’s from Luvya Fruit or Heartland Group NZ, one thing is for sure, it will be the best eating apple you’ve had in a long time.

Heartland businesses

Easton Apples Ltd Easton Apples Ltd
Vailima Orchards Vailima Orchards
Compass Fruit Ltd Compass Fruit Ltd

International market

Our offshore apple business is conducted by Heartland Fruit, our international export company selling apples under the Luvya brand and variety brands.

New Zealand market

Heartland Group NZ deals with all our New Zealand clients, and is responsible for ‘keeping the best apples at home for you’ with our Kiwifirst brand.

Compass Fruit Packhouse

All Heartland Group’s fruit is packed by Compass Fruit Packhouse – a dedicated packhouse company wholly owned by the Heartland partners.

Key retail customers for Heartland Fruit

The drivers of “right fruit at the right time”, a commitment to consistent supply and ongoing innovation mean that demand for our apples continues to expand.

New Zealand – Foodstuffs

Canada – Loblaws

Europe – Lidl

UK – Morrisons

UK – Sainsbury

Thailand – Central Foods, Tops

Malaysia – Giant, Coldstorage, Jasons


2 family orchards united by the persuit
of the perfect apple.

The Heartland Group is a company established by a group of Nelson orchardists who, in 1993, sought to improve their respective businesses by embracing the free exchange of information and on-orchard management practices. This innovative approach has led to developments in packing, cool-storage, controlled atmosphere facilities, logistics, marketing and new variety development.

For more information click on the apple icons on the map.

Easton Orchards

Easton Orchards

David Easton is a passionate 3rd generation apple grower. He and his wife Maryanne have grown the business from a small 6 ha apple orchard on the Moutere hills to today’s orchards that cover over 60 hectares, with the biggest orchard situated in the heart of the Waimea plains. David is credited with creating the red apple marketed as eve™, a standout consumer success.

Vailima Orchards

Vailima Orchards

Vailima Orchards’ 3rd generation orchardists Richard and Susan Hoddy have three properties stretching across the Waimea Plains. Vailima has been a significant local leader in adopting new apple growing techniques with the single purpose of producing a remarkably consistent premium quality apple. Vailima Orchards also have extensive programmes trialling interesting new varieties.

In persuit of the perfect apple.

Some years ago we believed the apple industry worldwide to be in trouble. Tired of receiving soft, old apples, consumers were turning away. Eating quality was inconsistent because decisions along the delivery chain were made for the wrong reasons. Logistic decisions were driven by market prices, apple sizes, quotas, shipping schedules, or the sheer popularity of a variety, with resultant poor harvest regimes.

Heartland growers went back to the basics. We had a desire to deliver crisp, juicy, eating apples from Nelson, New Zealand every time. That means all our decisions are based purely on what is best for the apple and our customers. Unusually in this business, we own our own orchards, pack houses and marketing company – which affords us control and traceability from start to finish.

It has allowed us to implement our rigorous I.Q Process, which has seven separate yet integrated stages. It is only by following the I.Q. Process that we can be confident of delivering consistently delicious Heartland apples and pears to our customers. For a more detailed explanation on any of our process outlined below, just click on the area that interests you.

Heartland’s IQ process

1. The perfect growing conditions

2. Pioneering varieties and plantings

3. Architecturally designed orchards

4. Harvesting for quality

5. Customer-made packing plan

6. Fruit focused logistics

7. Customer philosophy that fits exchange of information and on-orchard management practices. This innovative approach has led to developments in packing, cool-storage, controlled atmosphere facilities, logistics, marketing and new variety development.

We employ a holistic approach to food safety.

When you eat our fruit you can have confidence that it is safe to do so. The Heartland Eco concept is a holistic one, covering all aspects of food safety.

All apples are sprayed, even organic apples. To ensure you can trust our fruit, we adhere to strict practices – “EUREP GAP” and NZ I.F.P. We use no unnecessary chemicals – we only spray according to need. We determine need based on objective measures which include trapping for insects to determine population and likely damage.

We employ scouts who regularly inspect our orchards for pests and disease. These people are highly skilled and trained. We use only products registered and approved for use in ALL countries in the world.

We randomly check our fruit for pesticide residues, and ensure our fruit falls below the minimum residue levels (MRL) set anywhere in the world.

We follow NZ Integrated Fruit Production (I.F.P.) methods, which encourage natural control by other insects. This scientifically designed system is the basis of all our decisions. When a need is identified we choose the safest and most environmentally sound product available.

Our CA, cold storage and post packing facilities are of the highest quality. The storage providers have their own audited code of practice. The fruit is electronically monitored to ensure that stored fruit is kept at the optimum storage conditions and packed product is dispatched to our customers in the best possible condition.

Safe food

1. We have a holistic approach to our apple production – our fruit is safe. The utmost care is also taken in our packing facility:

2. Only domestic supply water is used to wash our fruit.

3. A high-pressure apple washer removes all dirt and other matter on our fruit.

4. Our washer is the result of collaborative project between industry and Hort Research to find the best design and most effective washing systems.

5. The fruit is brushed and dried before packing.

6. Our packhouses comply with the strictest fruit packing regulations in the world, the British Retail Consortium Code (BRC). Heartland treats its apples as food that should and could be eaten straight out of the bag.

7. Transport to the market is in temperature controlled trucks on a daily ‘just in time’ basis supports committed customer programmes in New Zealand.

About Nelson

With such a beautiful climate, stunning surroundings, and a vibrant and creative arts culture Nelson is becoming the destination of choice for those wanting the perfect lifestyle.

The Nelson area seems to breed creative, open and friendly people – it is also the ideal location for the Heartland Group to grow perfect apples.



Come and help us harvest.

There will be seasonal work opportunities available with Heartland Fruit in Nelson for those interested in casual employment, or those visiting New Zealand from overseas and planning a working holiday.

Employment opportunities include working in our apple packhouse or working outdoors on one of our local apple orchards. We are looking for casual, season workers from January through to June.
While experience is an advantage, it is not a necessity for casual, seasonal work at Heartland Fruit. As long as you are physically capable to handle the work and you have the right attitude we will do our best to find you suitable employment.

If you are currently in the country and have the correct Visa and paperwork do not hesitate to contact

Compass Fruit Ltd
Apple Packhouse
79 Beach Road
Richmond 7020
Phone: +64 (0)3 544 9155

Easton Apples Ltd
Bartlett Road & Mariri
David & Maryanne Easton
Bartlett Rd, Appleby and
Mariri, Motueka
Phone: +64 (0)3 5266854
email: bartlett@eastonapples.co.nz

Vailima Orchard Ltd
Richard Hoddy
300 Main Road
Phone: +64 (0) 3 544 6560


To see whether you are eligible for a working visa in New Zealand, visit

the Immigration New Zealand website

Contact us

heartlandHeartland Fruit NZ Limited
79 Beach Rd, Richmond, Nelson 7020
New Zealand