The Barker’s Story

Barker’s of Geraldine is still on a corner of the original family farm, 8km from the South Canterbury town of Geraldine. The farm sits in the lea of the Four Peaks mountain range, beside the Te Moana River and surrounded by rolling pastures.

The farm is now a thriving business, making world-class jams, chutneys, syrups, and condiments. Barker’s supports the local community employing around 200 local people, and always buys local produce whenever possible.

“Innovation comes naturally when you’re youthful, vigorous and having fun.” – Anthony Barker, late founder

A Rural Enterprise

Barker’s of Geraldine is nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps, Pleasant Valley, Geraldine New Zealand.

The desire to be different and to explore new and better methods has been in our DNA for generations. Barker’s has been on the corner of the original family farm since 1969 and we continue to respect, foster and grow our business with the land around us.

Establishing and growing a business in a rural location such as ours offers challenges.  With 230+ staff, a busy head office and factory, we can’t escape the reality of being far removed from services that one would take for granted.
READ MORE about our rural enterprise Anthony Barker, founder of Barker's of Geraldine

Borne from Wild Aspirations

Barker’s blackcurrant fruit syrup is the number one seller today, but it was wine that the Barker family started with years ago.

In 1969 Anthony Barker began picking the wild elderberries on his farm to create traditional country wines. Gooseberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, apricot and raspberry wines, aperitifs and liqueurs followed with blackberries, loganberries and kiwifruit. 
READ MORE about Anthony Barker’s winemaking adventures

The Revolutionary Tinkerer

The Barker family farm has seen many inventions over the years.

Anthony Barker crafted his pure elderberry wine using an extraordinary range of simple home appliances – an old washing machine converted for drying corks, a vacuum cleaner to provide the turbo boost for his diesel fired coppers – true Kiwi DIY! 

While the Barker kids loved the home-made swimming pool, the most lucrative and acclaimed invention was the Kent-Barker fireplace. Manufactured and marketed by Kent Heating it was the world’s first efficient wood-burning heater.

The unique patented features, including a downward air wash to keep the glass door clean, were adopted by most manufacturers worldwide.
READ MORE about Anthony Barker’s Kent-Barker Log Fire

Anthony Barker

Anthony & Gillian BarkerJuicy Innovation

The summer of 1981 saw an endless supply of blackcurrants, father Anthony and son Michael decided it was time to put them to use, and set out to make their first non-alcoholic drink.

Barker’s Blackcurrant, a pure and natural squeezed and pressed juice was a hit with adults and children nationwide. The extensive range of Barker’s juice and fruit syrup blends continue to grow to this day.

In 1991 Anthony Barker launched his signature ‘Anthony Barker’s Preserves’ sold in specialty food stores and delicatessens. New Zealanders soon caught on to the quality of Barker’s preserves, and they’re now found on the shelves of major supermarkets and boutique stockists alike.

Preserving the Fruits of Success

Here in 2018, Barker’s of Geraldine grocery range is one part of the bigger picture.  Barker’s Fruit Processors also manufactures Barker’s Professional products for the foodservice industry; provides Food Ingredients for delicious collaborations; and manages a busy Global Export team.

As we approach our 50th birthday we continue to honour Anthony Barker with our ongoing culture of innovation. Anthony died in 1999, just missing the new millennium. He would have been so very proud to see us continuing to innovate as we do, still on a corner of Anthony’s old farm, in Pleasant Valley, near Geraldine, South Canterbury.

For more check out BARKER’S HISTORY