A fall in farmed deer numbers is not discouraging venison processor and exporter Duncan and Co.
The business has just expanded its operation by taking full ownership of Otago Venison Ltd. at Mosgiel.
Duncan and Co has had a shareholding in the Otago plant since it started 21 years ago.
General marketing manager Glenn Tyrrell said there had been a decline in the number of smaller scale deer farms as a result of dairy expansion.
However, he said the Otago move was a sign of confidence in the deer industry, with a recovery underway in the main European venison markets and new opportunities opening up elsewhere, including China.
"For us it's really looking at the markets overall. We've got, I think, a very good market base in North America and Europe, so we see the demand improving there, linked to a strong farmer supply base and we're pretty confident in the industry going forward," he said.
"So for us it was just a chance to make sure we can secure the processing in both islands, so we've got the Rotorua plant, Mamaku in the North Island and now taking 100 percent control of the Otago venison plant based in Mosgiel."