Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Meet Ed Kight of Akitio station.
Ed's proud to claim the spot of 5th generation farmer in his family. The photo above features 5 'A' shaped iron structures standing tall at the entrance to his property, each one representing a generation.
The 'A' is a prominent feature at Akitio station, having been used to brand their bales of wool that were shipped off the beach to England up to the 1940's!
The station is situated along 15kms of the East Coast of the North Island in New Zealand, in the Tararua district.
Throwing it back to 1870 when Ed's ancestors settled at Akitio, raising sheep has always been a key focus as their historical shearing shed still stands, built in 1886. Of course it's needed a few renovations over the years, so it's handy that the property has its own forest and logging business on the farm. This side of the business sequesters carbon through the trees in his forest which enables Akitio to also trade in carbon credits.
Having bought the neighbouring property, Huiarau, last year, Ed has big plans for increasing fencing around the stations, to help nurture areas of biodiversity and keep natural waterways clean.
Between Akitio and Huiarau, the land stretches over 4,800 hectares. 2,200 hectares of this is set aside for 9000 strong wool sheep to roam, and 2,600 hectares kept for growing native and pine trees.
Akitio recently qualified for ZQ certification, meeting the ZQ Grower Standard requirements with their progressive ways of farming and caring approach to animals and the environment.
Being ZQ certified has opened up new opportunities for Akitio's wool, where they are now connected with international brands who want to buy their wool. Strong wool like Akitio's 35-38 micron fibres will be used in luxurious carpets and rugs from brands such as Cavalier Bremworth or Ascend Rugs. For finer wool such as 29 micron lambswool will be better used in products like shoes and slippers for brands such as Glerups.
Check out the range of brands using ZQ wool, like that from Akitio station, here.