China, and the impacts of the current African Swine Fever outbreak on the global meat trade, was the hot topic for New Zealand meat companies attending this year’s Anuga – the world’s largest food and beverage trade fair held biennially in Germany.
One of 170,000 trade visitors attending the show’s 100th anniversary event, was Alliance Group’s export sales manager for venison, Terry O’Connell, along with general manager marketing Shane Kingston and the manager of the co-operative’s UK office Donna Smith. His observations from the show are included in the latest Deer Industry News.
For the co-operative, which exports beef, sheepmeat and venison products to over 65 countries, the main benefit of being at Anuga is that the show brings buyers from all over the world – not only from all European markets, but also the Middle East, North Africa, Northern Europe, Asia and North America.
“You can talk to importers, manufacturers, further processors, retailers and others,” he says. “Everyone is there under the same roof and you can get a real sense about what’s going on in the markets,” says O’Connell.
The major focus for everyone he met was China and the impact of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak on global meat trading systems.
“This is the biggest single event that’s happened in our lifetime as far as protein flows go and it’s a big topic of conversation. Everyone was trying to work out what the ramifications would be from the protein gap in China,” says O’Connell.
Alliance took part in the Prime Meat and Alexander Eyckeler stands, its two long-standing importers, showing its full range of Pure South and Ashley-branded products, including venison.
Now back in New Zealand, O’Connell is taking stock of what he learned at Anuga, his fourteenth visit to the show, and considering Alliance’s 2020 venison programme. Venison had previously bucked the trand of a surge to China but Alliance is now seeing increased demand for a variety of products, notes O’Connell.
“We’ve got to carefully think through our strategy, being mindful of balancing out the geographic and market risk. We’re also focused on getting value back nto our manufacturing cuts,” he says.
At the time of writing, Alliance was just starting to airfreight chilled venison to Europe for the game season which complements the seafreight chilled already shipped. O’Connell and colleague Katrina Allan were looking forward at what might come for the frozen venison programme to kick off in mid-December.
Silver Fern Farms the first NZ meat company to be CEMARS-certified
At an offsite event for its global partners in Cologne coinciding with the start of Anuga 2019, Silver Fern Farms announced it was the first and only New Zealand meat company to be CEMARS carbon-footprint certified.
The event was held this year at upscale venue The New Yorker at the Harbour Club in Cologne and featured Silver Fern Farms venison product on the menu.
It was an ideal platform for the company’s European, Middle Eastern and Chinese guests to hear from some of Silver Fern Farms’ senior executives on the company’s vision to be the world’s most successful and sustainable grass-fed red meat company, says the venison exporter’s group marketing manager Nicola Johnston.
“It was a great opportunity to update them on new strategic initiatives, market trends and our commitment to sustainability,” she says, adding it was also good timing to announce Silver Fern Farms’ CEMARS certification.
The CEMARS (Certifed Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) programme has been developed by Toitu-Envirocare, a division of Landcare Research, is business-tested and ensures consistent and comprehensive carbon reporting, benchmarking and management.
“Customers and consumers want to know their food is being produced responsibly and with care,” says Johnston, adding the CEMARS verification programme is backed by ISO Standards.
“It gives global credibility to our claims around how we plan to reduce our carbon emissions. There is a growing segment of the consumer market that pays a premium for food that meets their need for low-carbon, natural and sustainable food. We hope the steps we are taking will enable us to leverage this opportunity with our grass-fed red meat – including our venison,” she says.
The company has also added a new venison tri-tip to its Silver Fern Farms’ retail range, which has been revamped with new sustainable packaging.
This article is precised from full versions, which appeared in the latest edition of Deer Industry News magazine (December/January 2019). Check out the magazine for the full articles, plus more in-depth deer industry specific news, including on-farm fieldays, trials and more.