Pāmu’s (brand name for Landcorp) focus on innovation in the food business has been recognised at the 50th Fieldays, winning the Innovation Grassroots awards, with its ground-breaking deer milk product.
After three years of trial and testing, with partners Sharon and Peter McIntyre, who farm near Gore, today’s award caps an exciting week for deer milk, with a chefs tasting in Auckland on Monday.
Chief Executive Steve Carden says that deer milk was the sort of innovation that the agriculture sector needs to invest in to make sure we remain competitive.
“As an industry, agriculture needs to be changing and evolving what we produce in response to consumer demand. Pāmu Deer Milk is one of the ways that Pāmu is investing in innovation, with like-minded partners, to take the milk industry forward.
“With is high fat content and protein levels, Pāmu deer milk is ideal for food service, cosmetics and other uses that we are exploring.
“While still early days for the product, today’s win is an awesome acknowledgement for the team at Pāmu, and for our partners the McIntyre family with support from Agresearch, Agmardt, Asure Quality and the Food Hub.
“Pāmu is looking at how we can enhance shareholder value, by not just being a price taker at the farm gate, but adding value right along the food chain.
“Whether it is looking at how we can use the unique properties of deer milk, or partnering with Spring Sheep Milk Co to offer a unique product range, or the provision of high quality wool to NZ Merino for the innovative brands they work with, Pāmu is always looking at ways we can drive value and innovation in our business.
“Partnerships such as the one we have with the McIntyre’s, are a key part of that strategy. We are seeing a unique product like Pāmu deer milk, turned into the sort of potentially high value, niche export product that is the ‘holy grail ‘for the primary sector. It provides an earnings multiplier way above selling the product at the farm gate.”
Carden says that while the Pāmu Deer Milk testing with some top chefs in Auckland got positive feedback, the challenge, as always, is making such a product commercially viable.
“We believe we are on the cusp of something very exciting,” Carden says.
Accepting the award for Pāmu, General Manager Innovation, Environment and Technology Rob Ford said the award was a great acknowledgement for the team at Pāmu who have kept this project going, despite the challenges that innovations of this type always present.
Photo (L to R): Sharon McIntyre, Peter McIntyre, Rob Ford, Chris McIntyre, Mandy Armstrong, and Claire Hannan.
Pāmu Deer Milk is currently only available through restaurants in Auckland and Wellington.
Pāmu is the brand name for Landcorp, a Stated Owned Enterprise, and one of New Zealand’s most innovative farmers and food businesses. It is also the name given to the quality products created by the company.
Pāmu is the Māori word ‘to farm’ and reflects the deep connection New Zealanders have with the land, born from respect, and a genuine desire to protect and enhance the environments in which the company works. It’s a proud provenance that stands behind every product bearing the Pāmu name.