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A cut above the rest

Family-owned New Zealand business Greenlea are proud to produce quality cuts of meat for Kiwis from 100 per cent grass-fed animals, now available on their new online store.

What originated as a little butcher shop in Gisborne more than 80 years ago, today has grown into a thriving New Zealand family-owned business. Greenlea Premier Meats, founded by Peter Egan,  flourished with two plants built in the Waikato and successful exportation to the global market, and now Greenlea are on a mission to make sure Kiwis have easy access to premium cuts of meat produced from sustainable methods.

With their online presence now expanded into a fully-fledged, e-commerce site known as The Greenlea Butcher Shop, Kiwis now have the option to purchase and order meat to be delivered directly to their front door. To ensure people are consuming the best quality of meat on offer, Greenlea have recently partnered with carefully chosen brands Ovation and First Light (accredited with internationally recognised Certified Humane status), supplying lamb and venison which will also be stocked online.

What Greenlea are keen to share is knowledge surrounding where the product has come from, how the animal was treated and what that means for those purchasing the meat.  

“The goal is to make more people aware of the benefits of having a premium product at your fingertips. It’s about providing an insight into the journey of the meat from field to plate,” Julie McDade, veterinarian and business development manager at Greenlea explains. Greenlea don’t want people to envisage animals standing in unhealthy, muddy fields with poor water supply, or cooped up in pens. When it comes to meat production, animal welfare and nutrition is number one on Greenlea’s list. 

“You can’t beat an animal living the way that nature intended,” McDade says. “When you see animals being fed corn and high concentrate diets, they suffer a lot of metabolic issues as you’re feeding them a diet that’s not naturally intended. Their systems are biologically meant to eat grass, not manufactured feeds. It’s not fair on them.” 

The ecosystem of the pastureland and land regeneration is a crucial part of quality meat production. In order to develop and sustain premium animals, Greenlea ensures they are 100 per cent grass fed, meaning the meat is free from hormones, antibiotics and GMO (genetically modified organisms) that modified grain feed would normally contain and which would eventually find its way into our diets, and are making sure the animals are living healthy lives. 

It’s not only the welfare of the animals that Greenlea class as priority, but that of their employees. “Everyone who comes to visit Greenlea walks away commenting on the strong family feel of the business,” McDade says. A level of respect for their workforce is evident as a large number of employees have remained at the company for more than 10 years. A valued aspect of the company is that they make it their prerogative to contribute to society. This led to the creation of the Greenlea Foundation Trust, a section of the business that supports charitable causes throughout New Zealand, with the aim to improve the future of individuals and groups on a long-term basis. Giving back to society is something that is evident in Greenlea’s past, present and future goals, with a focus on the local community. When they discovered that very little of their product was actually available in New Zealand, they decided to make a change. 

“What you could get was used for processing, such as jerky or sausages, so we decided to change that. Now our product is available in Farro Fresh and Moore Wilson’s,” McDade says. 

The end-goal now for Greenlea is understanding the consumer and their needs in order to keep the business sustainable. “With a growing population and a rise in people reducing their meat intake, the ability to actually provide meat at every meal time will become even harder,” McDade explains. So, as we head into winter, why not make a conscious choice to invest in the best for an improved future. 

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