Knyvetts Road, Rakaia, Canterbury
Having been in operation since 1994, Mountain River Processors has ridden out many fluctuations in the industry’s fortunes and today employs over 60 full-time staff processing close to 40,000 deer annually.
People, timing and the ability to adapt have all been instrumental in their continued success. Visiting the plant, you quickly get a taste for what makes the operation tick. The front office is tidy and set up well, while the processing plant is humming with swift and cheerful activity.
We thought you might be interested to have a look through where our top quality Mountain River Venison is produced, packed and distributed to New Zealand and the world. And if you would like to visit, know there is an open invitation for you and all Mountain River Community members to pop in for a visit. Just let us know!
When the business was set up, founder Doug Hood had the idea that the industry needed to be more integrated from farm to market. That integration remains strong today and forms the basis of our initiatives designed to connect farming deer with the chef’s table.
Surrounding the processing plant is Northbank Station who provide a core supply role to the processing and marketing operation. In this way the business is able to offer reliable supply to the market. We asked Farm Manager Adam Waite about how he finds working with Mountain River Processors:
“They are just passionate about what they do! When I got here, you could plainly see and it was part of the reason that attracted to me the job. I can pick the phone up and know that, if I've got a problem, they'll be there to help.”
The people involved are what make Mountain River Processors a great place to work and to visit. You may remember our previous story and video of Jack Hart, who has also been working at the processing plant from day one. He is one of many from the team who have been involved since its inception. Ian and Kerry pictured above, along with Shane below, were instrumental in setting up and growing Mountain River Processors to what it is today.
Mountain River is a company that is light on its feet in its ability to adapt and change. What hasn’t changed, however, is the people behind the business.
Speaking again to Adam Waite, “They make it all quite seamless. And I have quite a close contact with Shane as well. Because he often talks with John, he lets me know what's going on and what the market’s looking for. As a farmer that’s invaluable.” We recently posted a story about Shane that you can catch up on here.
What’s truly impressive is the speed and precision that the team work to. You really get a sense of expertise and and efficiency throughout the processing plant.
Below are some before and after photos of some cuts being frenched during production.
It’s apparent that the people in and around the processing plant are what make the operation so successful. The staff are very down-to-earth, friendly, and happy to chat about all things venison. You can tell they are passionate about the top quality meat that goes through the plant - and making sure the highest level of care is taken.
Packing the meat and preparing for distribution...
To the chiller for the first part of storage...
Then into the cold room before shipping to the world...
As we mentioned, there is an open invitation for all of you who are a part of the Mountain River Community to visit the processing plant - especially if you would like to meet the fantastic team and see their speed and expertise in action!