By Rebecca Harper 

What started out as a solution to an environmental problem has become a Kiwi success story – Purepine Shavings.

Using a by-product from the Pukepine Sawmills, in Te Puke, Jill Morrison and the team at Purepine Shavings have created a premium bedding product – so popular demand is outstripping supply.

Their quality shavings, from New Zealand-grown Radiata pine wood, are untreated, kiln dried, and easy to use. Not only that, they can be stored outside and are naturally free from chemicals and pesticides.

This is their second year in business and Jill says the product sells itself. “We know we have a great product.”

She acts as one of the wholesale agents for Purepine Shavings and the product is also sold through selected retailers.

“The business started because Pukepine had an environmental issue with disposing of their shavings. They did their research and imported a machine into New Zealand from Italy. They didn’t know anything about horses, so they approached me and asked if I could help – the rest is history.

“It’s a Kiwi success story, the machine was brought in to fix a problem and now the business is a huge success.”

Jill says Pukepine, owned by the Tanner family, produces sawn lumber for both domestic and international markets, and the shavings are the by-product from that business.

“Purepine Shavings is very much the same product as what you would find in Europe. We are making a European quality product.”

Feedback from clients has been amazing, she says. “Now we are at the point where demand well and truly exceeds supply, so much so that we have had quite a few international enquiries.”

Through winter Purepine exports a lot of product to Fiji to be used as bedding for chickens, which helps spread risk and reduce reliance on one sole market. “But between Fiji and the domestic market, there’s nothing to go anywhere else. We now have a lot of racing clients and breeders, bigger studs, using the product who are repeat clients.”

The Morrison family is no stranger to showjumping circles, Jill’s daughter Samantha is a regular starter in the World Cup series and has represented New Zealand. Couple that top level competition experience with a business creating a product the equestrian community wants, and it makes sponsorship in the equestrian industry a logical fit for the family.

Purepine Shavings is the seven-year-old series sponsor and Jill says they are always interested in the age group classes, especially the seven-year-old. “They’re the horses coming through for the future. This year we had a horse in the series too, La Riviere, ridden by Helen McNaught.”

Purepine is also a proud sponsor of Sam as a rider, and being on the showjumping circuit means Jill attends most premier shows. “It’s always been nice to follow that seven-year-old class this season, and be there to present the ribbons.”