From farm to feeder: The advantages of supporting New Zealand growers and producers

From farm to feeder: The advantages of supporting New Zealand growers and producers

Buying New Zealand grown bird seed has big health benefits for avians – but it boosts our human communities too.

Food for thought

Seed-eating birds such as greenfinches, chaffinches, sparrows and yellowhammers, like all wild birds, are seeking out a quality diet when they visit a garden feeder. They're searching for fresh seed that's high in nutrients to fuel their next flight. However, the quality of those nutrients depends on where the seed was grown. 

If you're unsure about the freshness or nutritional value of your seed, a simple sprout-check is worth doing. Just soak it in a little water and look for life to sprout from the seed. Sprouting indicates that enough goodness is present for the seed to develop into a larger plant, given the right conditions. 

Above: fresh, nutritious seed ready to be shaped into wild bird feed at the Bell Shed.

Cheap, imported seeds won't sprout. That's because they are heat-treated, a process intended to protect NZ from any unwanted nasties – but one that also strips the seed of valuable nutrient content and destroys a number of dietary essentials that healthy birds need.

That’s why New Zealand-grown seed and grain crops are best for your bird friends. Seed produced here is naturally nutritious thanks to our exceptional soils, and, because it’s grown within our borders, there’s no heat treatment needed. Garden bird lovers can be assured that key vitamins, proteins, and amino acids are retained, and that your bird feeder is serving up what wild birds need. 

Buy local to build local

By choosing bird seed grown by New Zealanders, you're supporting both your feathered friends and the local economy. That’s because every movement from farm to feeder (the sowing of seed, cultivation of plants, through to harvesting, mixing, packing, sending) is done by Kiwis.

And when our producers thrive, the community around them does too. This means more jobs, more people in rural towns, a better support base for local schools and clubs, and more capacity for regenerating the local environment - take our Green Friday planting days, for example.

Above: The Topflite team plants native trees at Waitaki Geopark as a Green Friday activity.

Buying locally grown seed ticks a lot of sustainability boxes too. Plants cultivated in New Zealand are subject to rigorous oversight of landcare practices (which isn’t always the case for overseas suppliers). Less carbon is emitted in moving locally grown seeds and grains around, and packaging waste is much lower than imported products.

When choosing a seed mix, it is of course important to consider the nutritional gulf between imported bird seed and the New Zealand-grown variety. But buying local is the right choice for our communities too.

New Zealand grown

Related Products