Silver Fern Farms has passed the 1 million mark for livestock supplied into its value added supply programmes in a 12 month period.

Chief Executive Dean Hamilton says the milestone is positive for Silver Fern Farms suppliers. “As part of our Plate to Pasture strategy, we are focused on successfully building branded, differentiated products and then linking these consumer programmes directly with livestock supply programmes – creating that market-based linkage from consumer to farmer.”

“Passing 1 million stock units into value added programmes is an important milestone recognising the unique scale that has been achieved in these contracted supply programmes across beef, lamb and venison. This represents a greater than 30 percent growth on last year,” he says.

General Manager Sales, Grant Howie says demand for value-added ranges has been strong. “Programmes like our Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef have linked farmers to the needs of consumers through the feedback and market derived premiums they receive through the Beef Eating Quality (EQ) grading process. Demand in China in particular is growing very fast.”

“Our Venison Global Retail programme and our North American Anti-Biotic Free lamb programme have given farmers in those programmes a path to market that taps into discerning consumers, and provides our farmer partners with value-added returns.

“In the past 12 months we have paid out $4m in additional premiums above operating prices to suppliers in our contracted value-add programmes.”

Dean Hamilton says Silver Fern Farms intends to continue to grow their value-added sales, and with that their differentiated supply programmes. “Premium consumers around the world are increasingly discerning and we know they will pay a higher price for natural food where the attributes can be guaranteed by a New Zealand brand they can trust. We have a number of new initiatives planned over coming months that will drive further growth in our programmes.”