27 May 2015

Blue Sky Meats partners with Duncan NZ

The Southland Times

A new meat processing partnership shows the rationalisation of the New Zealand meat industry, the companies involved say.

Invercargill-based sheepmeat and beef processing company Blue Sky Meats has joined forces with specialist venison processing company Duncan NZ.

Duncan NZ has existing deer processing plants in Rotorua and Mosgiel.

The joint venture comes after Blue Sky Meats purchased a beef and venison processing plant at Gore in December.

The purchase of the Gore plant allowed the company to expand into beef and venison processing, after previously processing only bobby calves and sheep.

Blue Sky Meats general manager Ricky Larsen said partnership would benefit the company by enabling them to offer a wider service.

“We’ve linked up with very experienced venison marketers and it provides significant synergies for two companies working together.

“We haven’t marketed venison before and both companies will have access to a wider range of new livestock suppliers.”

The new venture was a good way for Blue Sky to further support the Meat Industry Excellence group’s call for a restructuring of the NZ meat industry, he said.

Meat Industry Excellence have highlighted three issues in the NZ meat industry, excess processing capacity resulting in inefficiency and unnecessary cost; inefficient procurement of stock; and lack of in-market coordination by exporters.

“In principle Blue Sky Meats supports those concerns and this partnership was largely driven in trying to address those issues,” he said.

Although the product would be marketed by Duncan NZ, the partnership would mean local Southland deer suppliers can keep supporting the Gore plant, Larsen said.

“We’ve only just launched the partnership but the plant in Gore has quite a lot of loyal deer suppliers.

“They will be able to continue to supply their livestock to the existing plant.”