Reserve Programme

Watch our Reserve Story

Reserve Programme

Unlocking a Premium Edge

The Silver Fern Farms Backbone® Reserve Programme rewards you for being dedicated to our elite standard of New Zealand grass-fed beef.

Our Plate to Pasture strategy is focused on driving increased sales of value-added products, increasing our profitability so that we can return premiums to our suppliers. And, the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef is our most highly valued product.

Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Reserve Beef is made possible by the farming skill of New Zealand’s best farmers, and the ability to grade carcases provided by the Silver Fern Farms Eating Quality™ System. It’s what allows us to offer an elite quality of grass-fed beef to our customers.

Download Reserve Programme Brochure


Rewarded for Performance

Involvement in the Backbone® Reserve Programme delivers you significant advantages: 

Receiving financial reward for all aspects of herd quality, and management, including genetic selection practices with premiums that are directly related to quality stock production measured by the Silver Fern Farms Eating Quality™ System for beef (BeefEQ)

Having eligibility for all stock, of all breeds (including heifers and younger cattle) to meet the BeefEQ criteria

Being linked with a select group of leading global customers

Having access to individual animal data, through the FarmIQ management system, helping to identify opportunities on-farm to lift Reserve Programme eligibility

Achieving absolute clarity of herd performance as measured against eating quality

Drive our Reserve Story – Rare Quality

As a member of the Silver Fern Farms Backbone® Reserve Programme, you are a key part of our story of true rarity and absolute quality that we are telling to the world.

A story of selected farms, in the rarest of places – New Zealand.

And the selected farmers who work the land with rare skill to produce grass-fed beef to a level of quality with no equal.

Judged to the highest standards by trained graders and a system that allows us to offer a rare promise.

Extraordinary eating quality, guaranteed. Consistent tenderness, juiciness and flavour, backed by your skills and our eating quality system, BeefEQ.

Your beef can carry the Reserve mark – a mark of rare quality so exceptional that only 4 in 100 carcases will earn it.


Silver Fern Farms Beef EQ grading system – attributes to be assessed (to meet Reserve EQ score):

pH, Rib Fat, Marbling, Ossification, Meat Colour, Fat Colour

220.5kg – 370.0kg

P1 and P2-graded steer and heifer only


NAIT – all animals to be tagged with NAIT-approved RFID tags

All cattle must be 60 days Farm Assured

All cattle must be grass fed

Customer Programmes

  • United States – MARX Imports (Foodservice)
  • New Zealand – Bidvest (Foodservice)
  • New Zealand – Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Retail)
  • China – Angliss and Bester Foods (Foodservice)
  • Germany – Klughardt GmbH (Foodservice)
  • Germany – EDEKA (Retail)
  • Middle East – Country Hill, Kaylani, The Sultan Center
  • Singapore – Sealink (Foodservice)
  • Hong Kong – Million (Foodservice)

For more information on becoming a Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Shareholder, supply options, Backbone® contract terms and conditions, full details on stock eligibility criteria and the availability of our Backbone® programmes, please contact your Silver Fern Farms Livestock Representative or customer services on 0800 362 362