Fifty years ago Anthony and Gillian Barker picked elderberries from the wild trees growing along the riverbanks of their farm and in making elderberry wine, started the now internationally successful and celebrated enterprise of the Geraldine community, Barker’s of Geraldine. The many challenges traversed since that first inspiration are elegantly captured by Michael Barker in the very readable lessons of innovation and industry from a ‘family farm’ – Barker’s of Geraldine 50 Years Preserved.
The spirit of this collection of anecdotes depicting the growth to more than 70 million dollars in annual sales rests in the people involved on this journey. The insights of the many contributors are captured through personal words and insights at various stages of Michael’s steerage through time of the journey of South Canterbury products and preserves to supermarkets and outlets across Australasia.
There is a little bit for everyone, tough farming and production decisions for the rural minded, mergers and acquisitions for the commercial reader and, above all a tale of proud inter generational family success from our own community.
Written and published within the family, this is a justifiably proud chapter of 50 years of South Canterbury history.
Published by Barker Fruit Processors Ltd
Reviewed by Garry Diack