Business & Industry

Apr 1, 2017

LAMB FROM NEW ZEALAND - 135 YEARS EXPORTING LAMB

Lamb is not only the meat of choice for most new-Zealanders when they have guests or go out for dinner. According to the annual poll carried by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, it's also their main export. 

On the 15th of February New Zealand celebrated its National Lamb Day, signalling the 135th anniversary of the exportation industry of this meat. As the tale goes, on February 15 of 1882, the first exportation shipment with frozen ovine meat left the country heading to London. The date has been celebrated with pomp and honour by the producers and merchants association, since it started three years ago.

The finding of the documents relating to this first transaction were only discovered on 2014 which included the name of the first exporters, William Davidson and Thomas Brydone and, even, the port of departure (Chalmers, on the region of Otago).

The undisputed quality New Zeland's meat stands out mainly due to how it is raised. Unlike de mass production industry of other countries, New Zealand benefits of an immense territory, well supplied with rain water and thanks to its frequency this allows farmers to raise their stocks outdoors feeding it with grass instead of industrial rations.

This improves the quality of both the meat and the milk, enhancing its flavour and nutritional value. Making such a good use of the rain water turns New Zealand meat into a product that hardly affects the ecosystem and its national water reserves, the main concern for livestock producers all over the world and something that angers the Ecologists.

According to research made public on 2012, the meat produced on New Zealand only uses 212 litres of the water reserve per kilo, when, in other producing countries, the average of water reserve use per kilo is as high as 6,660 litres, meaning, pretty much the same amount of water as a car wash.

The country's meat production also profits from the fact that producers, distributors and merchants have created an institution that defends and promote it, Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

Their quality stamp assures the general audience, and mainly its potential consumers, of the quality of the meat, its nutritional value, the best suited cuts for a particular use (including lean cuts, for those with health concerns) and also assures that all exported meat is free of any growth hormones or any preservatives, by testing it frequently, to reassure the consumers that the meat gets to them without any products that may have haltered its natural characteristics.

Another phenomenon growing ever more popular is that of matured meats, rendering it tender and enhancing its flavour. Well, New Zealand lamb is shipped to Europe solely by boat, taking an average of three to four weeks to get there. That period, they assure, is ideal for the refrigerated meat to age under strict control so it can be sold upon arrival as a gourmet product of Excellency without the need for merchants to age it themselves.

The benefits of green grass fed cattle has been certified throughout the years, nowadays we already know that grass fed cattle raised outdoors has a smaller index of fat and a higher degree of "good" fats like Omega 3.

The number of vitamins present is also higher be it on its meat or its milk, above all Vitamin E, so it actually has paid off the generalized choice to bet on small farms with large terrains, instead of creating industrialized gigantic farms that try to concentrate the highest number possible of animals on the smallest available space.

By buying New Zealand lamb we are certain that there was a care to choose quality over quantity and everyone wins.

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