[16 February/NZ Farmer]

Taupo Beef and Lamb, a company established by farmers Mike and Sharon Barton, has begun exporting its meat range to Japan. They sent their first container load in December which went on sale at five high end supermarkets East of Tokyo. Mr Barton praised his partners for their help with the venture, and emphasised the importance of good food presentation in the Japanese market. They focus on sustainable farming, and Mr Barton added that if the primary industry was going to fix water quality issues, it had to extract value from overseas customers. He said their work will be a two generation process that will allow them to understand that water quality, greenhouse gasses and other environmental impacts had costs. Their current agreement with their Japanese supplier is for a year.