[18 August/Stuff: NZ Farmer]

New Zealand venison prices are approaching record levels on the back of continuing demand from the North American market. Prices are up 17% on last year at more than $9 per kilo, with Deer Industry New Zealand Passion to Profit PGP manager, Innes Moffat, noting that the farmers are benefiting from their investment and sticking with the industry. Other analysts are expecting to see pricing around the $9 mark driven partly by the contracts that processors have entered into. It was also noted that supply had fallen although many farmers are currently rebuilding their herds. There has been a diversification away from traditional European markets towards North America, were customers are taking lower value cuts and turning them into higher value products attractive to US consumers, including protein meat bars aimed at health conscious consumers and gourmet venison burgers.