You may remember last year when David and Ellie Morgan of Raincliff station, as well as Glen Whyte from Whyte Farming, trekked over to the land of the free and home of the brave to spread the word about New Zealand venison; a product that is under-rated in the American market. While touring venues across the East Coast primarily, the initial response was of intrigue from the chefs and wait-staff. Venison is still a relatively unknown meat product among both consumers and hospitality workers, so to be visited by suppliers who live and breathe venison was of significant interest. Donald Whyte, who was among the first suppliers to initially take the US Sales Trip, said it well when explaining why trips like these are so important. He says ‘it’s all about linking chefs and customers with the suppliers to explain what we do. We go to tell our story, but it’s not our story, it’s our life.’ And this is how each presentation began, this time led by his son Glen Whyte showing them the green valleys and hills of the South Island. We took a moment to visit each farm and have a look at the unique way each operation nurtures and raises its deer to produce high quality and consistent venison in a uniquely New Zealand way. Take a look at the full story here: The unspoiled, dramatic New Zealand landscape received a great response from the American audience as well as the small nature of these operations. Glen Whyte commented on the way they couldn’t believe how much wide open space the deer have to themselves.
For the most part, it was about talking to chefs and restaurant staff about how to prepare and present the product consistently across all seasons. The team toured a variety of restaurants and met a variety of chefs who will most likely all put their spin on the world-leading New Zealand venison product. Safe to say both sides of the supply chain will be looking forward to the next visit.