New PGP programme to turn passion into profit

Media contact: MPI Media phone
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have today announced they will partner in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called Passion2Profit.

The $16 million, seven-year programme is intended to be a game-changer in the production and marketing of venison. It’s expected to deliver $56 million in extra revenues a year from the end of the programme, and reverse the ongoing decline in the size of the national deer herd.

A total investment of $16 million has been committed to Passion2Profit, with a $7.4 million contribution from the PGP over the life of the programme, and the balance coming from Deer Industry New Zealand and its commercial partners.

MPI’s Director-General, Martyn Dunne, has approved the business case for Passion2Profit, which means MPI and Deer Industry New Zealand can now negotiate and agree a contract so the programme can formally start.

Deer Industry New Zealand Chief Executive Dan Coup says reaching this point is a big milestone.

“Our farm-raised venison is arguably the best red meat in the world, but a major investment is needed in order to achieve its market potential. Only with the support of PGP, will Passion2Profit have the resources to create the step changes we need,” he says.

“One of our major challenges is our over-reliance on the European market. Demand there is seasonal and not in step with New Zealand’s venison supply.

“There are two clear opportunities in Passion2Profit. The first is branding and positioning lean, tender, farm-raised venison as a luxury red meat sold year-round in new markets and market segments. The second opportunity is helping farmers adopt systems and technologies that will enable them to deliver the venison that markets want, when it is wanted.”

Mr Coup says Passion2Profit is supported by farmers, processors and exporters, all of whom want to convert their passion for deer and venison into greater profit — hence the name of the programme.

“A highlight is the support of the five processors who represent around 95 percent of the venison produced in New Zealand. Alliance Group, Silver Fern Farms, Firstlight Foods, Mountain River Venison, and Duncan and Co are working on industry agreed quality standards and support the concept of marketing venison under a single brand into new markets and market segments.”

Other supporters of the programme are the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association and the deer branch of the NZ Veterinary Association.

MPI’s Deputy Director General Sector Partnerships and Programmes, Ben Dalton, says Passion2Profit will add significant value to New Zealand, not only in terms of revenue.

“Bringing together venison producers and processors, Passion2Profit will also promote further collaboration within the red meat sector through relationships with two other PGP programmes — FarmIQ and the Red Meat Profit Partnership,” he says.

“Passion2Profit will also support collaboration between venison marketers and processors, and boost uptake of new technology and on-farm practices by producers.”

Collaboration will be supported by the development of industry agreed standards driven by the important attributes that consumers associate with a premium product, such as sustainability, animal welfare and protecting the environment.

Mr Coup says Passion2Profit will also help farmers integrate modern genetic, feeding and animal health approaches into their farming systems so they can produce more venison when it’s required and for greater profit.

“Survey data tells us that many farmers would like to improve the performance of their herds, but do not have access to the latest technology in a form that they can apply to their individual farms.

“While we have several programmes in place to promote technology adoption, we don’t have the resources needed to drive this at the pace needed to position the industry for future growth. Passion2Profit will enable us to do this.”

Mr Dalton says there’s much to be gained from Passion2Profit for the venison industry and New Zealand.

“MPI is excited to be part of Passion2Profit through the PGP,” he says.


About the Primary Growth Partnership

The PGP aims to boost the value, productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. When the two recently approved programmes are under contract, there will be 18 PGP programmes underway, with two recently completed.

PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years’ duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI.

Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, financial audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Government funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans.

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About Deer Industry New Zealand

Deer Industry New Zealand is responsible for promoting and assisting the development of the New Zealand deer industry. Deer Industry New Zealand has a worldwide co-ordination role through research and promotion of quality products derived from deer - especially venison, velvet and co-products.

More information is available at:

For more information, please contact:

MPI Media phone: 029 894 0328

Deer Industry New Zealand:

Dan Coup
Chief Executive, Deer Industry New Zealand
021 0676 232


Innes Moffat
Programme Manager, Deer Industry New Zealand
04 471 6111

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