This week AFFCO has packed the first consignment of its Certified Free Range Grass Fed New Zealand Beef for shipment to the United States, notes Allan Barber. The product has been developed with the assistance of an established customer with distribution into retail, wholesale and food service.
The natural beef programme is the result of extensive consumer market research which highlighted a top end market for free range grass-fed beef that is also certified free of hormone growth promotants and antibiotics.
Grain-fed beef still leads the popularity stakes with American consumers, but a better educated and more knowledgeable public in recent years has led a growing shift towards natural pasture raised beef as a healthier alternative. There is a fast growing demand for meat retailers and the food service industry to provide a healthier alternative and good market niche opportunities have now started to appear.
While the large population and high beef consumption in the USA means an significant market opportunity exists, Dale Kwok, AFFCO’s marketing manager, says “as with all the company’s global market activities, a conservative and cautious approach will be maintained to ensure a sustainable future presence for NZ producers and suppliers and our market customer alike.”
Allan Barber is a meat industry commentator. He has his own blog Barber’s Meaty Issues and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.This item has also appeared in NZ Farmer’s Weekly this week.