18 Sep 2017

Extra $4 million paid to farmers for value-added meat

4:55 pm on 18 September 2017

Farmers supplying Silver Fern Farms value-added programmes have been paid an extra $4 million in premiums in the past year, as a million stock units have been processed.

Cow beef cattle generic

Silver Fern Farms value-added programmes pay farmers a higher price for animals that meet certain specifications when they are sent to slaughter. Photo: 123RF

The company is aiming to cash in on consumers here and overseas who are willing to pay a higher price for meat that has been farmed to specific attributes such as 100 percent grass-fed, or antibiotics free.

Farmers who are contracted to meet the requirements, are paid a higher price for the animals sent to slaughter.

The programmes for beef, lamb and venison are aimed at markets including China, Germany and the United States, Silver Fern Farms chief executive Dean Hamilton, said.

The programmes were about meeting consumer demands, and delivering more money for farmers, Mr Hamilton said.

Each supply programme has different required attributes that the farmer needs to farm to, and a premium is applied once it's verified.

For example, Silver Fern Farms will pay an extra 40 cents per kg in the winter months, and 25 cents per kg in non-winter months, which can mean an extra $75 to $130 for farmers from a 300 kg animal.

"For a farmer who's in that programme it's a material amount of money," Mr Hamilton said.

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