Passion to Profit (P2P) launched

Deer Industry News (60)-smlPassion to Profit (P2P), the deer industry’s refined and rebranded Productivity Improvement Programme, was launched at last month’s Deer Industry Conference in Wellington.

More information about the programme is contained within the latest edition of Deer Industry News, that hit the streets earlier this week, and makes interesting reading for those considering sheepmeat industry reform.

In brief,  the lead article ‘Taking productivity to the next level’ explains that P2P condenses the on-farm productivity drivers into three streams:

  • animal health
  • planning feeding targets and triggers
  • optimising genetic composition

Knowledge and best practice learned through industry research and development and focus farms will be communicated to deer farmers through Deer Industry News and an online Productivity Improvement Hub. P2P will also be boosted through the involvement of Advance Parties, small well-supported groups of motivated farmers pursuing well-defined opportunities. More information about how these will work is included in the article.

The P2P strategy is focused on lifting current earnings before tax (EBIT) earnings from the current $3/ per kg by $2/kg, equating to an additional $137 per hind and includes a close look at the cost and efficiency of inputs such as nitrogen, phosphate and water.

A well co-ordinated value chain remains a priority and P2P encompasses the main points of the venison and velvet strategies, the article says. These include a long-term commitment to market development, joint funding of initiatives by levy payers and exporter/processors and encouragement of long-term supply commitments throughout the chain. Protecting the freedom to operate remains a priority.

The ideal venison carcase had been discussed by the Productivity Leadership Group, which determined that such a carcase could fit within the 50-80kg range, Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) Board member Glenn Tyrrell of Silver Fern Farms is quoted explaining. This presents an opportunity to increase the weight of New Zealand deer without a negative impact on markets, but comes with a proviso that it should not be at the expense of quality attributes.

A Primary Growth Partnership application from Deer Industry New Zealand had been turned down because the programme was not sufficiently connected to markets. The proposal is now being reconsidered for re-application, including the possible introduction of Cervena® branding to European markets. The latter is an exciting move that has been suggested by processor/exporters, rather than the industry body Deer Industry New Zealand or by deer farmers, believes DINZ chief executive Mark O’Connor.

Increasing competition from other markets, especially Spain and Poland mean that New Zealand needs to reclaim the premium end of the market with a strategy of product differentiation, Tyrrell explained in the article. For that reason, deer industry leaders are now considering introducing the Cervena appellation – which was successfully introduced 20 years ago to the US, Australia and New Zealand –  to Europe to help pull specific top-end New Zealand venison cuts, such as middles and some leg cuts, clear of the pack. One important difference would be that the appellation would be known as ‘Cervena Venison’, at least initally. It is early days in the concept however. The appellation needs to be supported by all companies exporting venison to Europe and by an industry-agreed farm assurance programme.

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