Nov 3, 2023
With the passing of Sir Timothy William Wallis on October 17th 2023, this gives us time to reflect on a life well lived to the fullest of someone who was a pioneer in the New Zealand deer farming industry. It is always important to know where we have come from – with humble beginnings, we have grown into an industry that produces the most farmed venison and velvet in the world. This is something we can all be proud of.
Along with this fact we must also consider how we present and sell both products throughout the world. A recent report that came across my desk notes that the Korean health supplement market had increased by 22% in 2022 from the previous year. Additionally 8 out of 12 new deer velvet heath food products launched in Korea in 2022 contained and were marketed as containing New Zealand deer velvet.
We can also look to the economic growth that is currently occurring in China at 4.9% while New Zealand is around 3.3%. It is also interesting to compare the exchange rates of the US dollar and the Korean Won with this time last year, the US dollar is unchanged and the New Zealand dollar is down 3% against the Korean Won.
So, all in all, there are more positive points than negative as to where our markets should be heading and it defies belief that we are being told the market for velvet this season will be challenging. When we consider the recent 15% increase on farm inputs costs over the year ended June 2023 (a total of 40% increase over the last 3 years) this means the producer takes another double whammy hit.
As in previous years the best advice I can give is to talk to your velvet buyer and see what options will be the best fit for both of you.
- Justin Stevens, NZDFA Executive Committee Chair, Marlborough