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FT-Apr17-eMag 3 Kathryn Calvert Editor NZ FOODTechnology HOPEFUL ENDEAVOURS IN PACKAGING SUSTAINABILITY It was very gratifying to hear after last month’s magazine on ‘green’ packaging that there’s real cause for hope from initiatives inside New Zealand relating to improving recycled packaging rates. Lyn Mayes from The Packaging Forum – a group of 200 brands and manufacturers collectively trying to fund ‘end-of-life’ solutions for packaging by operating schemes in glass, recycling and rubbish facilities – reports huge progress on sustainability in this area. For example, chip snack bags are now recyclable through the Love NZ soft recycling programme (it is hoped that 70% of New Zealanders will have access to this scheme by the year’s end), and 48% of plastic bottles are now recycled. It is also great to note that supermarkets, retailers and brand owners (even the leading brands) are contributing to this activity. As mentioned in last month’s article, pizza boxes are generally non-recyclable due to food residue, but Forum members Pizza Hutt, Domino’s and Hell have assisted in the development of a logo to remind consumers to empty out the boxes for the 70% of councils who will accept them as part of cardboard rubbish if they are clean. We should be very proud of an industry that tackles issues head-on and stands up when counted for leadership in areas that matter. This month’s article on bottled water exports should stir up some debate, and I hope you enjoy the new-look DrinkTech section that this month covers everything from coffee, tea and energy drinks through to wine, beer and sheep milk. Have a great April! EDITOR'S NOTE BREAKING NEWS NZ VENISON HITS GERMANY Cervena venison is to be marketed in Germany during the northern hemisphere summer as part of a market development trial. Deer Industry NZ venison marketing manager Marianne Wilson says the trial, while relatively small, is symbolically very important. Traditionally, the deer industry has been heavily reliant on sales of venison to the German game trade which is highly seasonal, with demand and prices peaking in the northern autumn and winter. “Marketing Cervena venison there as a lighter summer eating option suitable for grilling is a challenge but it’s a journey we want to begin,” she says. “Chefs across Europe are now showing more interest in innovative summer menu items, so the timing is positive.” Wilson says Cervena is an appellation owned by venison producers and the five main venison marketers. Cervena is delicately-flavoured, tender, grass-fed venison from New Zealand-farmed deer less than three years of age. “In recent years, Cervena sales to North America have grown steadily to the point where the United States is now New Zealand’s largest year-round market for chilled venison. The challenge now is to replicate that success in Europe during the summer, when game meat demand is at its lowest,” she says. Exporters and DINZ have had positive results and feedback from the first two years of a three-year trial exploring the market potential for summer sales of chilled Cervena in the Netherlands and Belgium. “The exporters are targeting more than 80 tonnes of Cervena at premium prices to those countries over summer, when demand would traditionally be very low. We have learnt lessons there that we are now ready to apply to Germany,” Wilson says. The trials are part of Passion- 2Profit (P2P) – a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme between DINZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries. All five major venison marketers and DINZ collaborate and share the trials’ insights and results, even though not all the exporters are involved in every trial. “Initially, only Silver Fern Farms will be offering Cervena for sale in the 2017 German trial. It will be marketing Cervena venison to German chefs and restaurants for the first time,” Wilson says. “The Cervena venison will be marketed from April to July, well separated from cuts marketed as ‘New Zealand venison’, sold in the traditional game season, from September to December. Silver Fern Farms will be working with three food service distributors that specialise in fine foods – businesses that deliver high quality innovative products to top restaurants,” Wilson says. “Alliance Group will develop a food service channel for Cervena in Germany this year, with the aim of launching in 2018.” She says the trial comes at a time when venison demand across all markets is strong and supply is short. “What we are doing is laying the groundwork for the future. The industry is going through a herd rebuilding phase at present and when venison production inevitably increases, we want to have more year-round markets offering premium prices primed and ready to go.”

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