Funding for China venison initiative

Funding for China venison initiative

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) has approved a one-off grant of $225,000 to a $450,000 venison market development project in China.  

DINZ chief executive Innes Moffat says five applications for contestable funding were received from four companies for a project that would support the development of a new market.

“All were of a high standard, but an external review panel determined that a proposal from Silver Fern Farms was the one most likely to benefit the wider industry and to have the greatest impact,” he says.

A photo taken in a restaurant that is assisting with venison recipe development in China

The $225,000 grant was funded from DINZ reserves in response to major disruption to venison markets caused by the impact of Covid-19 on hospitality businesses. It will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Silver Fern Farms.

DINZ also allocates $400,000 each year to company venison promotions that meet the criteria for joint promotions. The projects that were unsuccessful in their applications for the contestable fund are eligible for joint promotional funding.

“Covid has severely disrupted sales of premium venison cuts which are normally sold to high-end restaurants in Northern Europe and North America, many of which have closed their doors or have been operating at greatly reduced capacity,” Moffat says.

“China is now our third largest market for venison by value and volume. Germany and the United States hold first and second places.

“Nevertheless China is still a developing market, with limited experience with venison cuisine Importers, supported by NZ marketers and DINZ are continuing to develop new butchery techniques, cuts and cuisines for venison that appeal to Chinese tastes.”

Silver Fern Farms group marketing manager Nicola Johnston says she welcomes both the funding and the independent endorsement of the company’s marketing strategy.

“It reinforces the strength and content of the Silver Fern Farms’ Venison Recovery and Growth strategy. It also recognises the unique value of our company’s infrastructure of China-approved processing plants,” she says.

“This funding will support projects that are above and beyond the activity we’ve already initiated in China and we’re excited to see what traction these additional projects can provide.”

Johnston says the project will involve customer and consumer insight, new product development, customer usage, education and promotion.