Venison rebrand progressing

A new Cervena brand, aimed at markets in Europe and China, is hoped to create more value for the deer industry. Maureen Bishop reports on the Deer Industry New Zealand conference.

The five largest venison marketing companies in New Zealand are working together to relaunch the meat under the Cervena brand.

Those attending the Deer Industry New Zealand conference heard that although the agreement to do this had not yet been signed, the companies were driving it and were committed to it.

The relaunch would incorporate a stand-alone brand that could be produced by all of the participating processors.

These include Silver Fern Farms, Firstlight Foods, Alliance, Mountain River Venison and Duncan & Co.

Chief executive of DINZ, Dan Coup said the brand would be aimed at three new markets in Europe and China.

It would be premium product, differentiated from the game market and season, and supplied to high-end distributors.

The initiative is part of the Passion2Profit (P2P) programme which is aimed at creating more value for the industry.

Mr Coup said the challenge was converting the science and technological gains into on-farm activities to increase profitability.

The organisation did not have the cash on hand to do all it wished to, but had applied for government funding under the Primary Growth Partnership scheme.

Chairman of DINZ, Andy McFarlane said the goal was to see $2.37 per kg returned 100% to the producer, and an additional $2.50 per kg gained in the marketplace.

''It would be naive to think 100% of that will go to producers,'' he said.

Four of the companies - Alliance, Silver Fern Farms, Mountain River Venison and Firstlight Foods - delivered presentations at the conference.

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