Global meat exporter and processor Alliance Group and Quality New Zealand Ltd have signed an exclusive supply deal to develop a new market for premium lamb in India with the help of former and current New Zealand cricket stars.
Quality New Zealand Ltd (QualityNZ), whose shareholders include the current and former New Zealand captains Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori and Stephen Fleming, will be spearheading the push of Alliance Group’s export brand Pure South into India.
QualityNZ launched the Pure South brand in India on 3 October at a function at the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi. Attended by over 130 senior hotel executives, restaurant owners and leading chefs, the function featured a cooking contest including high-profile cricketers Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori and judged by renowned celebrity Chef Ritu Dalmia.
Geoff Thin, chief executive of QualityNZ’s import business based in India, said: “The opportunity to develop a market for New Zealand meat in India will take some time, but the potential in terms of volume will create solid demand for meat producers in New Zealand. Sheepmeat in particular is very popular and Indians largely respect the fact that New Zealand is capable of producing some of the best quality meat in the world.
“This event represents an important first step in demonstrating lamb’s taste, tenderness, nutritional qualities and ease of cooking. India is an extremely important market for protein and we are excited about the future.”
Geoff Allott, chief executive of QualityNZ’s New Zealand-based business, New Zealand Cricket board member and former international cricketer, said he was pleased with the Alliance Group agreement.
“We’ve been in discussions with Alliance Group for many months now and we’ve been impressed with the level of professionalism and management capabilities during the due diligence process. Our goal is to work with Alliance Group to develop the Pure South brand in the Indian market to a point where the additional demand will ultimately drive stronger farmer returns.”
John Rabbitt, marketing manager at Alliance Group, said there was considerable interest in lamb from India’s growing middle and upper class.
“India will demand the highest-quality New Zealand lamb and Alliance Group has the global experience and knowledge of exporting to 65 countries around the world. Both Alliance Group and QualityNZ are enthusiastic about the prospects for India.
“Although there is significant potential for Pure South in India, Alliance Group recognises this is not a short term proposition and we are committed to a long term programme.”
In a related sponsorship deal, the Pure South brand has been seen on the leading sleeve of the Otago Volts cricket team, which has been playing in the Champions League tournament in India.
“An opportunity arose through Brendon and Otago Cricket to get on board with the Volts prior to them leaving New Zealand for the tournament,” said Mr Thin.
“While we’re disappointed for them that they narrowly missed out on the semi-finals, we are delighted with their success in the Champions League tournament and it’s created great exposure for the Pure South brand in India.”