If like us, you enjoy lamb, you’ll know the most popular origin of that ever-so-tender meat, is New Zealand. What you may not know, is how or why New Zealand ranks so highly in global exports of lamb.
New Zealand is the worlds largest exporter of lamb. It has over 16,000 beef and sheep farms and recording around 24 million finished lambs each year. This, however, has not always been the case.
Captain James Cook
The first sheep arrived in NZ back in 1773. Captain James Cook, a British explorer and navigator dropped off a single ewe and ram, to South Island at Queen Charolotte Sound. Left to roam free, they lasted just three days but sparked a revolution in sheep farming.
Representing the largest economic boom in NZ’s history, by 1850 a third of NZ’s total exports were wool. Today, the industry is even more colossal, and the country celebrates national lamb day every 15th February.
FACT: There are more sheep than people living in NZ. That is actually a vast understatement, with just 5 million residents, the sheep population is five times that, with around 26 million sheep.
Do Ewe Know Why?
Boasting a subtropical climate, NZ is the perfect place for plants and animals to thrive. The rich green countryside is an endless lunch for its 26 million sheep. The nutrient rich pastures mean the woolly quadruped population stay grass fed all throughout their lives.
These rich pastures also mean its easy to raise the cattle in natural and humane conditions. This leads to healthier livestock, with much less chance of disease. This is mostly a result of cultural traditions, upheld by laws meaning farmers pertain to those traditions.
Another benefit of NZ lamb is their strict labelling practices. Lambs in NZ do not age beyond 12 months, meaning you will only get the tenderest cuts.
Because of the natural conditions in which the sheep are raised, NZ also benefits from a reduced carbon footprint. The subtropical climate means sheep can be produced all through the year. The climate, healthy and natural conditions all combine to reduce the cost of farming.
At MLS, we stock Australian, New Zealand, Somali and Pakistani lamb. Available in a range of cuts, burgers and mince. We strive to source the highest quality meat from each destination.
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