17 Aug 2009

Antler production to get combined marketing approach

8:50 am on 17 August 2009

The deer velvet industry has finally managed to get itself a single marketing company to handle the bulk of the country's antler production.

For years, the industry has recognised the need for a more co-ordinated marketing structure to lift velvet prices, especially with most exports going to one dominant market, South Korea.

It had got part way there with a partnership between PGG Wrightson and Dunedin-based Tasman Velvet Processors.

The new company brings in two more partners, the Velexco marketing co-operative, and another farmer co-op representing suppliers.

Interim chairmain, mid-Canterbury farmer Bill Thomas, is hoping the combination of commercial and farmer involvement will bring more discipline to the trade.

Mr Thomas says the alliance includes velvet producers, as well as people who can do grading, procurement and marketing.

He says about 70% of velvet producers would be represented by the organisation, but is hoping ultimately for up to 80%.