US influencers blown away by NZ farming and red meat

// Industry

Six visiting US food and lifestyle influencers were highly impressed by New Zealand’s farming and food culture and by this country’s grass-fed meat.

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Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), in partnership with Firstlight Foods, Atkins Ranch and Silver Fern Farms, brought the influencers to this country in December last year to visit farms, get close to livestock and meet passionate red meat producers. 

While in NZ, the influencers learned about cooking and preparing grass-fed beef and lamb with chef and butcher demonstrations and discovered NZ’s grass-fed difference through culinary experiences and meals.

B+LNZ created an Instagram page of the social media messages created and shared by these influencers.

Michael Wan, B+LNZ’s Global Manager- Red Meat Story says the guests were blown away by the experience, with all of them commenting it was the best press trip they’d ever been on.

A recent post trip survey revealed the influencers’ thoughts about New Zealand’s farming and food culture. 

How do you think New Zealand’s meat production and meat quality compares to other countries and U.S. domestic?

“I felt that what we saw in NZ was an idyllic version of farming and what a child might imagine the life of a farm animal to include. The meat was certainly among the best I have ever tasted.” - Fiona Tapp

“I was astonished by what I saw & learned about NZ's meat quality. Coming into the trip with mostly just assumptions and minimal knowledge of NZ's meat, I hadn't realized previously what a leaner wagyu they're producing.  The whole country seems to have not just sustainability, but a very natural/ "organic" mindset that really carried through to the product.” – Jackie Gebel

“From my past experiences, I've discovered that most US domestic farms and other countries raise their animals on grass and grain. I thought it was amazing that New Zealand raises their animals solely on grass and still yields a high quality and delicious product.”

- Ben Hon

What surprised you most about New Zealand farms?

“The scale really - when we arrived by helicopter and rode in the can-am's and had a chance to see the immense pastures and valleys where animals can roam free it was overwhelming. I was also impressed to hear how much the noise environment is controlled to prevent stress to the animals.” - Fiona Tapp

“I was surprised at how much open land the animals had to roam and also the process of rotational grazing.” - Ben Hon

What surprised you most about New Zealand farmers/ranchers?

“The level of respect and compassion that farmers had towards their animals. It was quite moving to hear them talk about the responsibility they have towards the animals.” - Fiona Tapp

“How tight knit their community was and the whole family run aspect of all the farms.” – Jackie Gebel

“I was surprised at how they were able to care for all the animals simultaneously with all the open land. And the sheep herding with the dogs was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.” - Ben Hon

“How family oriented the business seemed to be.” - Teri Fisher

What do you think of New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb?

“It’s a very high-quality product that is more accessible to North Americans than I thought it would be.” - Fiona Tapp

“High Quality product that is grown in the right way, right size, never overdone to maximize profit.” – Jackie Gebel

“I thought it was absolutely tasty and extremely impressed at the quality, flavour, and tenderness of all the meats we had.” - Ben Hon

What was your biggest takeaway/learning about grass-fed beef and lamb from New Zealand?

“That the production of beef and lamb in New Zealand is cleaner and better than the U.S.”

- Adrianna Adarme

“Just how much care, effort and love goes into every meal made with NZ grass fed meat. That every animal has had a good life and you often can’t say that in mass meat production. I felt that it’s a more ethical way to eat meat and of course it’s delicious.” - Fiona Tapp

“A leaner, cleaner, natural meat.” – Jackie Gebel

“My biggest takeaway is how delicious grass-fed beef and lamb can be, and simply from a grass-fed diet! Another takeaway is how well the animals are taken care of and how much effort goes into providing them a happy life.” - Ben Hon

“That it's very good quality and tastes really delicious. It really is about educating people that lamb or beef isn’t hard to cook, and it’s easy to cook well at home.” - Teri Fisher

Thinking about the overall trip to New Zealand, what was your highlight or favourite part of the trip?

“I loved meeting all the farmers and sharing meals with them.” - Fiona Tapp

“My favourite part was connecting with all our hosts and farmers from each location. I got to hear their stories and what a typical day was like. It gave me a better understanding of what it takes to produce the best beef and lamb in the world!” - Ben Hon

The US influencers’ Instagram pages:

Adrianna Adarme @acozykitchen

Teri Lyn Fisher @terilynfisher

Jackie Gebel & Robby Miller @noleftovers

Ben Hon @stuffbeneats

Fiona Tapp (Stroud) @fionatapptravels

Find out more about Taste Pure Nature

Taste Pure Nature is used as a global brand platform to underpin exporters’ marketing programmes and enhance the positioning of New Zealand red meat. It has been developed in partnership with meat processors and farmers.

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