The $16 million, seven-year programme is intended to be a game-changer in the production and marketing of venison. It’s expected to deliver $56 million in extra revenues a year from the end of the programme and reverse the ongoing decline in the size of the national deer herd.
A total investment of $16 million has been committed to P2P, with a $7.4 million contribution from the PGP over the life of the programme, and the balance coming from Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) and its commercial partners.
MPI’s director-general, Martyn Dunne, has approved the business case for P2P, which means MPI and DINZ can now negotiate and agree a contract so the programme can formally start.
“Our farm-raised venison is arguably the best red meat in the world, but a major investment is needed in order to achieve its market potential. Only with the support of PGP, will Passion2Profit have the resources to create the step changes we need,” he says.
“One of our major challenges is our over-reliance on the European market. Demand there is seasonal and not in step with New Zealand’s venison supply.
“There are two clear opportunities in Passion2Profit. The first is branding and positioning lean, tender, farm-raised venison as a luxury red meat sold year-round in new markets and market segments. The second opportunity is helping farmers adopt systems and technologies that will enable them to deliver the venison that markets want, when it is wanted.”
Coup says P2P is supported by farmers, processors and exporters, all of whom want to convert their passion for deer and venison into greater profit — hence the name of the programme.
“A highlight is the support of the five processors who represent around 95 percent of the venison produced in New Zealand. Alliance Group, Silver Fern Farms, Firstlight Foods, Mountain River Venison, and Duncan and Co are working on industry agreed quality standards and support the concept of marketing venison under a single brand into new markets and market segments.”
Other supporters of the programme are the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association and the deer branch of the NZ Veterinary Association.
MPI’s deputy director general sector partnerships and programmes, Ben Dalton, says P2P will add significant value to New Zealand, not only in terms of revenue.
“Bringing together venison producers and processors, Passion2Profit will also promote further collaboration within the red meat sector through relationships with two other PGP programmes — FarmIQ and the Red Meat Profit Partnership,” he says.
“Passion2Profit will also support collaboration between venison marketers and processors, and boost uptake of new technology and on-farm practices by producers.”
Collaboration will be supported by the development of industry agreed standards driven by the important attributes that consumers associate with a premium product, such as sustainability, animal welfare and protecting the environment.
Coup says P2P will also help farmers integrate modern genetic, feeding and animal health approaches into their farming systems so they can produce more venison when it’s required and for greater profit.
“Survey data tells us that many farmers would like to improve the performance of their herds, but do not have access to the latest technology in a form that they can apply to their individual farms.
“While we have several programmes in place to promote technology adoption, we don’t have the resources needed to drive this at the pace needed to position the industry for future growth. Passion2Profit will enable us to do this.”
Dalton says there’s much to be gained from P2P for the venison industry and New Zealand.
“MPI is excited to be part of Passion2Profit through the PGP,” he says.
Supplied by DINZ.