Monday, April 22, 2024

Bold new strategy for DINZ

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More deer, heavier, earlier, better.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

That’s the key philosophy driving the new deer industry initiative Passion to Profit, or P2P.

New Zealand venison is facing increasing pressure from competitors such as Poland and Spain.

Speaking at the deer industry conference at Wellington last week, Silver Fern Farms sales and marketing manager and Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) board member Glenn Tyrrell said over the past seven years the volume of Polish venison coming into NZ’s key European markets had increased four-fold, while the amount of Spanish venison going into those markets had increased 3½ times.

“We have gone from having 10,000 tonnes of NZ venison down to 5000t of product going into those markets. We’ve gone from 60% of market share down to 30% of market share – we’re no longer the market leader in terms of volume,” Tyrrell said.

The P2P initiative had been designed to build the profitability of the NZ deer industry.

“The P2P is a co-ordinated, value-chain approach aligning all five parts of our venison industry strategic intent and the key aspects of the velvet industry strategic intent,” DINZ board chairman Andy Macfarlane said.

Macfarlane said the five key parts to P2P were:

  • To achieve demand-led premium positioning of NZ venison underpinned by a differentiation strategy. This will focus on the premium by nature programme based in Germany, while complementary work will be undertaken on a premium programme focused on developing high-value markets outside traditional market Germany.
  • To support long-term commitment to product and market development. This will have a strategic focus, with 50:50 funding between marketers and producers and a commitment to three-year plans.
  • To encourage farmers, processors and customers towards long-term supply commitments. “Commitment is a result of trust, trust only comes from transparency, transparency comes from sharing high-quality information in both directions. I believe a three-year commitment period could be appropriate,” Macfarlane said.
  • To improve on-farm productivity.
  • To ensure the industry has freedom to operate.

ADVANCE PARTY: DINZ is looking for motivated deer farmers to demonstrate gains to the wider community and nationally, chief executive Mark O’Connor says.

“Industry agreed standards and traceability are crucial, not only to NZ market access but to the NZ brand,” Macfarlane said.

“Horse meat in Europe, rat meat in China, DCD in milk, IGF in deer velvet in the US – all of these things are a result of the fact that high prices drive opportunities to defraud value chains. One of the things that have caused this is that entrepreneurs have seen the opportunity to grade up a product.

“Also, in the case of DCD in milk, detection measures are increasing in sensitivity,” he said.

Recent work by industry leaders suggests that over the next 10 years a further $2 a kilogram of hot carcaseweight can be achieved if P2P is successful. It is estimated $1.27 of that could come from behind the farmgate, driven by optimising deer health, better feed planning and improving genetics.

A trial of a possible method of implementing this change is about to start, with the development of several “advance parties”.

“An advance party is a well-supported, collective team of motivated deer farmers who identify and implement focused opportunities to lift profit on their individual farms, which are consistent with the P2P,” DINZ chief executive Mark O’Connor said.

“The advance party members demonstrate those gains to their wider community and nationally, which encourages wider adoption.”

The groups will have up to 12 members and will be supported by a facilitator, with DINZ in a co-ordinating role.

The advance party will come up with ideas then talk to a leadership group to ensure national co-ordination.

Advance party members will be expected to put their money where their mouths are and be committed to change, rather than simply discussing options.

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