Frequently asked questions

“Why have you changed your Pot?”

Our new pot overcomes our No 1 customer complaint about our old lid being hard to remove and replace. Another great benefit of the new pot is that it provides an oxygen barrier protection which keeps our chutneys and pickles looking and tasting fresher for longer. It also allows us to introduce great new products like our delicious new Lemon Curd and Sweet Chilli Relish (we couldn't put these new products in our old pot as the oxygen would have degraded them, rapidly compromising the quality of product).

“Why is there a new foil seal on your new Anathoth Farm pots?”

We’ve replaced our old, hard to break, plastic tamper evident tag with an easy to peel foil seal under the lid so that you can be sure the product inside is fresh and hasn’t been tampered with. The picture on the foil lid is indeed our view of the mountains behind us and the countryside that surrounds us. Anathoth Farm is 8 km from the nearest small town!

“Why is there less product in your new Anathoth Farm pots?”

Even though it’s the same size as our original pot, the new pot contains a little less jam or chutney. We can no longer brim fill the pots because we must avoid splashes which can upset the foil seals. After years of conversations about improving our lids, we didn’t think you would mind.

“Is the new pot reusable?”

Yes. The pot is handy for all types of storage. As it isn't watertight, it's not suitable for storing liquids but it's the perfect container to store left-over food in the fridge or freezer. You can also use it around the home for all types of storage.

“Can I use the pot to reheat food in the microwave?”

Yes. The pot is a handy container to use for reheating food in your microwave.

“Can your new pot be recycled?”

Yes, Anathoth Farm pots and their lids are both Grade 5 and can be recycled. While there are more Councils offering recycling for Grades 1 and 2 plastics, we choose to use Grade 5 Polypropylene plastic (PP) for several reasons. One is that PET plastics (Grade 1) are somewhat controversial due to chemical additives leaching out and are not suitable for hot filling preserves, as we do. We believe that recycling, where practicable, is a great option for our environment and we hope to see more Councils offering greater recycling options in the future.

“How much fruit is in Anathoth Farm jams?”

The fruit content in Anathoth Farm jams is 50% (with the exception of Blackcurrant Jam and Plum Jam, which both have 45%), just like jam made at home in the kitchen. Most commercial jams contain 40% fruit (which is the legal minimum) and concentrated fruit juices and purees are often used as a low cost way of boosting fruit percentage. But even using high levels of lower quality fruit doesn’t deliver great tasting jam. Anathoth Farm uses only whole fruit purchased from local growers and reputable fruit suppliers.

“Do Anathoth Farm jams contain pectin?”

No, we don't add pectin to any of our jams. It would be easier and faster for us to use additives to make our jam set, but we don't do that because there's nothing quite like the soft spreadable texture and big flavour of "home-made" style jam.

While most commercial jams have pectin added to make them 'set', we simply rely on the natural pectin in the fruit to make our jam set. That's why Anathoth Farm jam still tastes and looks like it has come straight from the country market. The amount of natural pectin found in fruit varies from season to season and crop to crop, so you'll find that Anathoth Farm jam varies too.

“Are Anathoth Farm products gluten free?”

We’re proud that all our products are gluten free. Our jams are naturally gluten free as we only use fruit and sugar and we've chosen to make our pickles with gluten free ingredients.

“Do Anathoth Farm products contain preservatives or other additives?”

No, Anathoth Farm jams contain no additives. We don’t add pectin, preservatives or artificial colours or flavours. We just rely on the natural goodness of the fruit. For our Anathoth Farm pickles, chutneys and relishes we don’t add any unnecessary additives either; just real spices like turmeric, chilli powder, mustard seeds, celery seeds and mustard flour to enhance the flavour of the real vegetables that we use.

“Do you ever use puree or concentrate in any of your products?”

Never. We're proud that one of the many strengths of Anathoth Farm is its simplicity. Our jams are simply fruit and sugar, boiled together until they set. So it's only natural that we also use only quality produce for our pickles and relishes and make them with lots of real fruit and vegetables and just the right amount of spices. Nothing artificial.

“How long do Anathoth Farm products last?”

The best before date is stamped on the lid of every pot. Our jams, marmalades and fruit mince will last up to 2 years and our curds, pickles, relishes and chutneys up to 18 months.

For our pickles, relishes and chutneys, our new pot comes with oxygen barrier labels which protect the chutney inside. This provides similar protection to glass and limits oxygen movement through the sides and bottom of the container. This is a great feature because plastic “breathes” and oxygen can get inside, but these new oxygen barrier labels provide “wrap around protection” and keep the product inside fresher for longer, providing similar protection to glass.

Our jams don’t require the same oxygen barrier pot as sugar is a natural preservative which protects the colour and flavour of jam.

“Does Anathoth Farm buy New Zealand fruit?"

Yes. We proudly support local growers and purchase New Zealand fruit first and foremost. Sometimes there’s a shortage of local fruit and vegetables and sometimes New Zealand just doesn’t grow all the types of fruit that we need, or at the correct ‘grade’ of fruit we need to make the best jam. At those times we supplement with fruit from other countries. For example, tropical fruits come from tropical countries and sour cherries come from Europe.

When we purchase international fruit we do so in a global marketplace under strict quality assurance criteria and only through approved, reputable trading houses. We'll always tell you when we use fruit from other countries. You’ll see a statement on every pot which lets you know where the fruit and vegetables that we use have been grown.

“Has Anathoth received industry recognition for its jam?"

Yes, we are very proud to be consistently rated the best jam by consumers. Anathoth Farm jam was rated the Jam Category winner in the Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction Survey in Australia (2013) and NZ (2016)

We are also regularly recognised by our customers for making the best jam and we are humbled to be the second most popular jam range purchased by New Zealanders.

“Why is my Anathoth Farm jam a different consistency to last time?”

We always aim to make the best jam in the market but making traditional jam can be quite tricky, as all home preservers know well. Because we never include any additives such as pectin, we can only adjust the time and temperature and the quality and provenance of the fruit.

If we boil a bit too long we get sweet sticky jam. If we boil too little we get runny jam. If the apricots are over-ripe or under-ripe the thickness of the jam is compromised and the flavour may change subtly. Naturally occurring fruit pectin also varies over the year and achieving an even consistency can be very challenging at times. Please rest assured that all our jams are quality tested before they are released to the market.

“Why is there mould on top of my Anathoth Farm jam, this has never happened before?”

As we don’t add preservatives to our jams, it is sometimes possible for mould to grow after opening. We recommend that you store your jams in the fridge and always use a clean spoon or knife.

To reduce the risk of yeasts or mould growing, Anathoth Farm products are heated to over 100°C during processing and hot packed in a sterile environment. The tamper evident foil seal is applied to the pot immediately after filling, while the product is hot, before inverting. If there is any visible yeast or mould growth when you open it, it's likely that the foil hasn't sealed perfectly onto the pot. Seal failure is a mechanical issue which may happen very occasionally, for which we apologise in advance. If it does happen to an Anathoth Farm product that you've purchased, please let us know and we’ll happily replace it for you.

“Why has some of the sugar crystallised in my Anathoth Farm jam?”

Our jams are made using real fruit and are popular because they're made to the time-honoured recipe – just fruit and sugar boiled together. Sugar crystals can occur when a batch of jam has been boiled for a few minutes too long and this is a problem that even the best home-preserver can encounter.

Our jam makers have to rely on the pectin in the fruit to obtain the required consistency and as the amount of naturally occurring fruit pectin varies sometimes we need to boil the jam longer to achieve the desired consistency and to ensure that it’s not too runny. However, there is a fine line (a matter of minutes) between not boiling enough and boiling for too long and it's not always easy to judge this because crystallisation doesn’t occur until some months later. Crystallisation is most likely to occur in jam made with low pectin fruit such as strawberries and cherries.

“Why have I found something in my Anathoth Farm jam that’s not supposed to be there?”

Stone fruits can often cause problems because the only way to remove 100% of the stones is to sieve them and that removes all the fruit texture. So the odd stone may slip through, just as it does when stone fruit jam is made in a home kitchen. For all our stone fruit jams we’ve put a warning on our labels, eg: “Despite our best efforts to remove all fruit stones, please take care as you could come across the odd fragment”.

With berries, due to their picking process, our berry suppliers can’t always completely eliminate plant matter from the fruit supplied to us. While it's rare, the odd berry thorn or twig may slip through because we're are unable to sift the jam. Although stalk complaints are rare, we take these matters very seriously and continually seek to reduce plant matter in our product.

Please rest assured that we have stringent controls in place for foreign matter; our company operates under a Food Safety Programme that is approved by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, we have invested in a metal detector, and our factory is inspected on a regular basis.

“What do I do if I have a comment, question or concern about an Anathoth Farm product?”

We always enjoy hearing from our customers. All you need to do is enter your details in our Customer Care Form and we’ll respond to you promptly.

“Who owns Anathoth Farm?”

Anathoth Farm Jams and Pickles are made by a privately owned business, Barker's of Geraldine. Anathoth Farm joined Barker’s in 2007 and all Anathoth Farm products are now made in Geraldine.

Barker’s is New Zealand’s leading producer of premium jams, chutneys and blackcurrant juice syrups. Barker’s was found in 1969 by Anthony Barker. In 2015, Barker Fruit Processors reached agreement to sell a majority stake to family-owned French company Andros, with Michael Barker (son of founder, Anthony Barker) retaining a significant shareholding in the business. Andros is the world’s leader in premium jam, maker of the famous Bonne Maman brand at its home factory in Biars, a small town of 2,000 people in the French countryside. 

“How many people does Anathoth Farm employ?”

Together, Anathoth Farm and Barker's are the largest employer in Geraldine with over 150 full-time equivalent employees.

“Does Anathoth Farm still make small batches of jam?”

Yes, we've gone to a great deal of effort to retain the traditional process of making jam in small batches. When we started making Anathoth Farm jam we didn't want to change anything but worked hard to improve product consistency from batch to batch and understand the precise boil time needed for each fruit.

Commercial jam is made with additives to instantly thicken it so that it's fast to make in large, mass produced batches. Anathoth Farm jam contains no additives and each batch is boiled for half an hour!

“How do you pronounce Anathoth?”

Anathoth means 'new beginnings' and we believe the correct pronounciation is “Ah-na-tot”, but you can say it anyway you like!

“How many products does Anathoth Farms make?”

We make a total of 24 products (Jams, Curds, Marmalades, Chutneys, Pickles and Relishes).

“How does Anathoth Farm get ideas for new products?”

Listening to our customers is important to us and we enjoy receiving your new flavour suggestions. In fact, that’s how our delicious Rhubarb & Red Berry Jam came about. We ran a competition asking for new flavour suggestions from customers and staff and the winning suggestion was Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam. Our jam makers decided to tweak the idea slightly by adding a touch of raspberry, since it’s New Zealand’s favourite jam flavour.

We aren’t able to make all the many new flavour suggestions that we receive, even though we’d love to. Sometimes our decision is based on the commercial availability of some fruit and vegetables and sometimes it’s about making sure that our retailers also like and support our flavour range.

“Can I buy Anathoth Farm products in Australia?”

We have been overwhelmed with positive feedback from consumers who are thrilled to have a range Anathoth Farm products available in Australia. Many emails and letters that we receive from Australian customers contain reminiscences of childhood memories and how much Anathoth Farm jam reminds them of their Mother’s or Grandmother’s home-made jam.

You can find a range of Anathoth Farm jams in Woolworths and Coles stores. To view the range available, please follow this link to the Australian website. A range of both jams and pickles can be purchased online for Australia-wide delivery. We thank you for your support.