New path agreed for SILERE

The SILERE brand of merino lamb has a new path.

The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and Silver Fern Farms have reached agreement for NZM to take 100 per cent ownership of Alpine Origin Merino Limited, previously owned jointly.

Alpine Origin Merino Limited was established five years ago as a joint venture between NZM and Silver Fern Farms to own the SILERE alpine origin merino brand and to fund the development and marketing of the Silere merino meat range. Under the agreement, NZM becomes the sole shareholder in Alpine Origin Merino Limited.

“When we set out we needed to prove merino meat could be differentiated as a luxury eating experience and value created in market could be delivered to grower suppliers,” explains NZM chief executive John Brackenridge. “SILERE alpine origin merino has been built into a successful brand and product for the foodservice market predominantly in New Zealand and the United States. The intention is for Alpine Origin Merino to continue to develop and build the SILERE brand in niche markets globally.”

Silver Fern Farms chief executive, Dean Hamilton, says, “After five years, it was timely for both shareholders to consider the next phase of development for SILERE. We all agreed that it made sense for NZM to take charge and drive the merino product range. At Silver Fern Farms, our focus today is on our Silver Fern Farms brand. We are looking to create our own Silver Fern Farms branded premium lamb range for foodservice, which is not breed specific, so it can be sourced from across a wider group of our shareholder supplier base, consistent with what we have achieved with our Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef range.”

A cut of SILERE alpino origin merino lamb won the KPMG Export Innovation category of the 2014 NZ Food Awards.

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