Velvet versus venison. PGG Wrightson Livestock Report on The Country 12 Mar 2021
Listen now as The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's national velvet manager, Tony Cochrane, to talk about the fortunes of velvet versus venison.
Cochrane reflected on the dry season in the Canterbury region.
Mackay commented on the deer industry, labelling it "a game of two halves."
Velvet was doing well, while venison had suffered due to Covid19, and a third part of this industry was also having a hard time – the trophy market.
Global travel restrictions meant that wealthy international hunters, particularly Americans, were unable to come to New Zealand to claim a trophy stag.
Cochrane confirmed that velvet was the cash flow that supported the deer industry at this stage.
Mackay asked if there was any hope for market growth with venison, as it was down 30 to 40 per cent on previous years and the returns were marginal.
Cochrane insisted venison had a great future, particularly with people who were invested in healthy living.
Mackay said venison was a great product and asked if there was anything that could be done at a local level to make it more accessible to the public.
Cochrane said this was more to do with transparency around export prices and New Zealand didn't have the numbers in terms of population and consumption.
New Zealand's velvet had become extremely popular in Asia, particularly in South Korea, where New Zealand had established a reliable brand.
Cochrane noted that New Zealand also had a reputation for having a secure deer industry.
PGG Wrightson had entered into a China velvet coalition with two of their New Zealand-based competitors, Cochrane said.
This was exciting news as China was becoming one of New Zealand's largest importers of New Zealand velvet, and was reported to grow 8 per cent this year.
Cochrane wrapped up by stating that the sky is the limit for New Zealand velvet.