Firstlight venison value sheet: yield based payment system enabling carcass optimization through identification of high value traits
The traditional New Zealand meat industry payment system has historically benefited farmers for through-put of livestock with little incentive to improve carcass quality or meat yield. This existing kill payment structure reacts to short term market signals and encourages farmers to "chase" higher seasonal returns, and, as is the case in the venison industry these higher returns are traditionally generated through the spring chill period before a large majority of deer are finished to their optimum potential. This means that individual deer farmers and the deer industry as a whole are missing out on potential production as farmers seek to slaughter light animals prior to the schedule depreciation. Although current deer industry initiatives will go some way to improve on-farm performance enabling farmers to slaughter deer earlier, the majority of farmers will still be unable to reach these milestones. Recent industry initiatives such as the DIFF project and Productivity Strategy seek to improve on farm performance with measurements in economic indices such as carcass returns per hectare, cost of production per kilogram of dry matter consumed and per hectare economic performance, yet there has been little done to reward farmers for higher yielding animals at the processor or market level. With existing and emerging lucrative markets in the UK and elsewhere offering longer term contracts for quality venison, this allows for certainty of price to the farmer and requires consistent numbers to market which is achieved through optimal all year round supply systems finishing deer to heavier carcass weights. Firstlight Venison NZ Ltd (FLV) is encouraging farmer suppliers to grow their deer heavier to their "optimum genetic potential" and enable the company to move away from the reliance on selling venison to the traditional and inconsistent northern European chilled game markets. To further incentivise and reward farmers for producing young high yielding quality deer all year round the Value Sheet approach is being introduced to pay farmers on cents per kilogram of meat yield per carcass processed.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsdeer industry; payment; meat industry; venison; yield based payments; value sheet approach; carcass value
Fields of Research140209 Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation; 150309 Logistics and Supply Chain Management; 070107 Farming Systems Research; 140201 Agricultural Economics
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