Food & Beverage Jobs in Christchurch

With its temperate climate, high rainfall and fertile land, Canterbury is the food basket of New Zealand. It provides a rich palette of produce from the famous chardonnays and sauvignon blancs of the north to aquaculture and seafood, grains, dairy products and vegetables.

The Canterbury region produces $1.5 billion of primary products each year and more than $4.5 billion of primary products are exported via Christchurch annually.

Not surprisingly, food and beverage is the largest manufacturing sub-sector in Christchurch by both number of companies and number of employees. There are more than 270 companies employing nearly 5000 people – ranging from small artisan producers supplying the local market to large processing factories operating on the global stage.

Almost 80% of food produced in New Zealand is exported, and as a whole the industry has been growing at an annual compounded growth rate of 8.3% over the last 16 years.

As the New Zealand’s primary sector has shifted away from its traditional  base  of producing commodities, one of the fastest growing sectors is processed and packaged  foods such as baked goods, processed meats, beverages, nutrition bars & confectionary, condiments, pet foods, and savouries.  Some segments within processed foods are growing at 30% annually.

Dominating the export sector is dairy – New Zealand controls over a third of the global export dairy trade and is a leading producer of high-value ingredients such as powdered milk products, casein, whey, UHT milk, lactose and colostrum.

Meet some of the employers

  • Synlait is one of New Zealand’s most innovative dairy producers, producing infant and adult nutritional formulations and functional food ingredients for the burgeoning Chinese market.
  • Coupland’s is one of New Zealand’s largest bakeries, employing 400 staff with 27 stores nationwide serviced by its manufacturing bases in Christchurch and Hamilton.
  • Baker Boys is a wholesale baked goods manufacturer supplying the Australasian markets.
  • Rangiora Bakery is another wholesale manufacturer with a diverse product mix supplying customers that include multi-national companies, airlines, supermarkets and restaurants.
  • Cookie Time is a category leader, employing nearly 100 staff, servicing 600 outlets nationwide.
  • Hellers is the largest small goods producer in New Zealand with more than 400 staff producing 500 tonnes of sausages, bacon, ham and delicatessen meats a week from its Christchurch and Auckland factories.
  • Barker’s is based in the small Canterbury country town of Geraldine, where it produces jams, sauces, syrups, cake and pie fillings, processing over 1000 tons of berries and stone fruit each year.