Horowhenua Producers during COVID 19

In these unprecedented times it has been reassuring to know our farmers, producers and makers  have all been committed to providing exceptional food to help keep New Zealanders fed!To keep their staff safe our producers have had to change the way they operate. We thought you would be interested to know about more about what they have been up to during this uncertain time .

Genoese Foods is a family owned and operated local business, manufacturing premium pesto’s from herbs and all natural ingredients. Genoese has been a producer of fresh basil pesto for over 25 years. It manufactures a range of products for the home, chefs and manufacturers sold throughout New Zealand and around the world. With New Zealand currently in level four, Genoese have had to change the way they operate. 

How much product do you supply?
4000kg pf pesto each week, roughly 30,000 pots of pesto. Where do your products go? New World, Pak n Save and Countdown stores. Our products are also stocked in Moore Wilsons, Farro Fresh, Huckleberry Farms, and Commonsense Organics. We also usually supply a large number of cafés and restaurants throughout New Zealand. Our products head offshore and can be found on shelves in Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Other manufacturers use our products in things like dips and sauces. Previously around 60% went to supermarkets, 40% to cafes, restaurants and other food services. With NZ currently in level four it is 97% to supermarkets. 

Are you selling as much/ more /less than normal? 
Foodservice has dropped by 95%, retail has lifted by 25%, overall all for now, sales are about the same as before the lockdown. 

What are you doing to keep your staff safe?
Some staff are working from home during the lockdown. For those that have to come in the production and office environment have been changed to ensure distancing requirements are met, we have  imposed restrictions on suppliers coming on to site, supporting  them to stay in their bubble and our staff in theirs.

What are you doing for food safety? 
All producers have had to develop a Food Control Plan which was submitted and approved by Ministry of Primary Industry. We continue to operate to this plan.

Have you had to change the way your business operates? 
Production wise no, office wise yes we are embracing things like Zoom and Slack, to support distancing and keeping the team together virtually!

Have your staff levels been impacted?
Yes, we have had to reduce resources in Sales and Marketing, and increase resources in our local basil growing operation.

A recipe to try while in lock down?

We are all about comfort food at the moment and these muffins are sure to satisfy your cravings. Savoury Pesto Muffins (Vegan)


1½ cups plant-based milk
2 cups self-raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 flax eggs*
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Genoese Plant-Based Pesto
2 finely chopped spring onions
1 chopped bunch of chopped silverbeet or spinach
¾ cup of oil
Optional: A good handful of dairy-free fêta 


Preheat oven to 200⁰C. Line one large 12-hole muffin tin.

Combine everything carefully together in a large bowl. 

Spoon mixture into muffin tins, bake for 20 mins or until muffins have risen and tops are golden brown. 

Remove from oven, leave to stand for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

*Flax eggs are made by combining ground linseed & water. One flax egg = 1 tbsp ground linseed + 3 tbspwater (leave to rest for a few minutes to thicken).

You will find Genoese's producers in the chiller section at most supermarkets listed above. For more information and recipes to try out while in lockdown head to https://www.genoese.co.nz