Confidence in future prospects for venison have led to a number of new appointments at speciality venison exporter Duncan NZ Ltd.
Duncan NZ Ltd’s chief executive and co-owner Andy Duncan points to positive prospects for New Zealand venison in the US and European markets. In addition, there is an increasing demand for speciality pet food items such as venison, both as standalone products and as ingredients.
“Pet food is becoming an important sector for the deer industry’s ‘fifth-quarter co-products,” he explains. “We’ve seen a strengthening demand for bones and offal this year.”
He puts this down to three key trends: an increase in pet-owners in general; a shift to smaller dogs, which require less feed; and demand for speciality pet food proteins such as venison for their ‘hypo-allergenic’ properties.
“As we go into 2018, at current exchange rates and with the improved returns from venison and products for pet food, we could see some sustainability in farm-gate prices, leading to a reduction in the volatility that has plagued the deer industry so often in the past.”
He believes whilst supply remains around 300,000 head per year, as herd re-building is underway, there’s a high probability of prices remaining firm, barring any unforeseen events.
The good prospects for the deer industry have given the company confidence to think ahead, says Duncan.
“Our markets continue to look to us for growth opportunities so we were very pleased to have our general manager marketing Glenn Tyrrell join us three years ago” he says.
Former Game Industry Board chief executive and director Dr Richard Janes joined Duncan NZ’s Advisory Board two years ago, bringing three valuable skill-sets – corporate governance, deep knowledge of the venison industry and international export marketing – to the table.
Other additions to the board are Tyrrell and long-standing former Duncan NZ executive Marg Kruse, who has re-joined the company as administration manager.
Several other new appointments have also been made at the company.
New marketing executive and Otago University graduate Jared Sandri is working alongside Glenn Tyrrell at Duncan NZ’s Wanaka office. Jared will also focus on domestic and e-commerce sales.
Rob Kidd has been appointed to handle a full range of special projects says Duncan. The Lincoln University graduate is based at the company’s Mosgiel plant, travelling regularly between the company’s two plants and offices.
In addition, Gus Martin, former slaughter manager at Duncan South Ltd in Mosgiel and new addition Stu Henderson, strengthen the company’s procurement division.
Shelley Woisin, previously North Island plant manager, has now taken on a group role covering compliance, health and safety, market access and other innovation and new product development work.
In the company’s Whitford head office, Carolyn Bull has joined the experienced administration team.
Co-owner Vinnie Duncan, meanwhile, has moved across to concentrate her time on the Duncan Charitable Trust, and it’s ‘Feed the Future ‘programme. This has a focus on enabling personal growth opportunities for today’s youth, who are tomorrow’s future and leaders.
Outward Bound NZ is a strong part of this programme and all Duncan NZ staff are encouraged to participate, says Andy Duncan.
Scholarships are also available and offered out to various community programmes. Administered also by the Trust is an initiative established by the Duncan Family in Arusha, Tanzania, enabling impoverished and disadvantaged street children the opportunity of an education.