Executive Committee Report | Issue 176

Apr 8, 2022

We are certainly living in extraordinary times, with what is currently taking place in Europe and our own challenges with Covid making its way through New Zealand, which is adding extra pressure on current killing space for deer. We have all had to make changes to the way we operate. Our youngest son managed to catch Covid around the time we were weaning deer and preparing for grape harvest and as we still had to be available to turn out for Fire and Emergency NZ, my wife, other son and myself all had to test every day and remain negative. Not quite sure how we managed to not catch Covid as we didn’t really take any extra precautions around our youngest. I will have to put it down to just being lucky.

We are currently in the process of mailing out the NZDFA membership subscription invoices. These have had a small rise since the last increase three years ago and we have managed to keep them below the rate of inflation while contending with increased costs like everyone else. Please note that the NZDFA has new bank account details (see the Noticeboard section) and we are grateful for your continued support. We will also be sending out voting papers for the SAP candidates at the same time, so this will be your chance to have your say on the direction that you wish your deer industry to take. These will both be in your mailboxes late April. 

The NZDFA Executive Committee met with the five venison marketing companies via Zoom last week. This gave us the opportunity to put your questions on price, supply, processing space, carcass size, He Waka Eke Noa etc. Improving schedule prices have been positive and in our business budget I will be working on a spring price of around $9 to $9.50 per kg. The supply and demand for venison is more in balance now than it has been over the last two years, with really the method of shipping and delivery being the current main concern. There has been some increased demand due to concentrated marketing of the larger cuts of Cervena® aged animals and this is something that will develop overtime to help improve a farmer's bottom line. He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) is the gift the just keeps on giving and while the consultation period has now closed, it will be very interesting to see what will happen in due course. We should have a better understanding of what will be imposed on ourselves as producers later this year, so at the moment it really is just “Watch this Space” to see what happens next.

I wish you all the best for the upcoming weaner sales and remember without the breeders, there would be no deer to finish.

- Justin Stevens, Marlborough - NZDFA Executive Committee Member

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