23 Sep 2011

Deer velvet partnership split 'should not affect prices'

1:50 pm on 23 September 2011

One of the partners in the now-disbanded New Zealand Velvet Marketing company says its break-up shouldn't weaken the good prices deer farmers have been getting for the antler product.

The partnership between PGG Wrightson, ProVelco Co-op and Tasman Velvet Processors sold about two thirds of the country's velvet supply.

PGG's velvet marketing manager, Tony Cochrane, says the partnership helped move prices from $60 per kilo to an average of $90 per kilo in two years.

He says despite the break-up, he is optimistic about next season's prices.

Mr Cochrane says there were several reasons for the split, including different sets of objectives, with some wanting a total farmer co-operative model, and others a more commercial set-up.

In addition, he says, farmers were not paid fast enough for their seasonal production.

Mr Cochrane says PGG Wrightson is not looking to form new velvet partnerships in the short term but says it's possible down the track.