J. Wattie’s Canneries was started in Hastings in 1934 by the entrepreneur James Wattie. It soon became the dominant fruit and vegetable processing company in New Zealand. Although initially set up to can horticultural produce for the local market, the business expanded into frozen foods, and after the Second World War exports grew. In 1992 Wattie’s was purchased by Heinz, the giant American food-processing company.
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