Silver Fern Farms is delighted to have the opportunity as founding sponsor of new charity, Meat the Need, to enable its farmers across New Zealand to donate meat locally to those who need it most, especially at this challenging time. Following the pilot in Christchurch, the initiative will extend to rural communities and other main centres, just as foodbanks are reporting record demand.
Created by YOLOFarmer Wayne Langford and Siobhan O’Malley of Pukeko Pastures, Meat the Need enables farmers to help feed New Zealand families who are struggling to make ends meet, by providing a way for them to donate livestock that is then processed by Silver Fern Farms and delivered to foodbanks. In planning for over a year, the initiative was accelerated in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Co-founder, Wayne Langford, said Meat the Need welcomes Silver Fern Farms’ partnership, which connects key participants in the supply chain including the processing and distribution of the end-product.
“Silver Fern Farms’ role in getting their farmers on board, and as the processor of the donated livestock, is pivotal in getting the meat to those who really do need it most. We’re thankful for the urgency they’ve placed on finalising the details so that we could get this up and running faster than planned in response to current needs,” said Langford.
The first delivery of 5,000 packs of meat, processed and donated by Silver Fern Farms, was delivered to the Christchurch City Mission on Thursday, 23rd April. It is expected that supply of product will extend to other regions as more farmers donate stock.
Silver Fern Farms’ Head of Communications and Sustainability, Justin Courtney says its involvement in Meat the Need is a direct response to calls from its farmers for a way to give back to their community.
“Silver Fern Farmers are proud of the role they play in producing food for our nation and the world and want to contribute to ensuring Kiwis don’t go hungry. They want to know that all New Zealanders benefit from the fact that we produce large amounts of the best red meat in the world right here.
“When Meat the Need approached Silver Fern Farms in 2019 it was an easy decision to throw our resources behind this, especially in recent weeks as we have accelerated the planning and implementation in response to the increase in need that has been created by the global pandemic,” said Courtney.
A simple booking process has been put in place for farmers who supply livestock to Silver Fern Farms for processing to donate the value for an agreed number of livestock into the Meat the Need charity fund. Silver Fern Farms processes then provides a quality, natural beef mince to foodbanks.
“We’re already seeing significant interest from our farmers in donating, and we are actively promoting this to them so that together we can help Meat the Need to build the supply of mince to foodbanks both now and into the future."
Meat the Need is one initiative in Silver Fern Farms’ wider Sustainable Chain of Care programme, which is committed to making a difference by investing in local communities, sustainability and the environment.
Farmers and the public can also get involved by donating funds to Meat the Need through its website www.meattheneed.org.