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Venison: Sustainable positioning of NZ important



13 December 2007

Sustainable positioning of New Zealand important for the Venison industry

Deer Industry New Zealand welcomes the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Report into UK consumer attitudes toward sustainable food production.

Deer Industry New Zealand is a member of the Sustainable Food Exporters Group which works in partnership with government to address challenges to the environmental credentials of New Zealand food exports in the international market.

DINZ CEO, Mark O’Connor said the report captures the threats and opportunities food exporters face in the rapidly changing global marketplace.
“While the UK is a relatively small market for New Zealand venison, experience shows that trends which emerge among British shoppers often migrate to other European countries, which are more important markets for the New Zealand venison industry. The report released today provides exporters with valuable intelligence on consumer attitudes to issues surrounding sustainable food production”.

For New Zealand exporters the challenges arise in the growth in consumer preference for ‘Local’ produce, because of the associations of freshness, proximity to market, and a desire to sustain traditional rural communities. The research also confirms that while environmental credentials play a role in purchase decisions, factors such as price and quality remain the key drivers for consumers.

The New Zealand deer industry has an enviable record of proactive steps taken to establish sustainable farming practices. Requirements to farm in an environmentally responsible manner are a core component of a national Quality Assurance system put in place in the 1990s. Many of these same requirements now form a core of the QA schemes individual marketing companies have in place today to meet the needs of their international customers.

O’Connor says “The challenge for New Zealand food exporters is to remain price competitive on the international market, and ensuring that product quality and fitness for purpose are delivered to customers requirements, with any claims about the environmental credential of their products underpinned by credible systems”.

Quick Facts:

- New Zealand Venison Exports totaled $221 million in the seasonal year ending 30 September 2007.
- New Zealand has approximately 3,500 farmers with deer.
- The National Deer Herd currently stands at approximately 1.5 million.
- Germany is the New Zealand venison industry’s largest market, and venison is New Zealand’s second most valuable export to Germany, with FOB receipts of $82 million in the year ending 30 September 2007.


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