Alliance Group, New Zealand’s biggest sheepmeat processor and exporter has signed a deal with spanish supermarket chain Mercadonna to directly supply lamb. As per the deal, the farmer cooperative will supply lamb to Mercadonna which has 1400 stores across Spain and a 26.5 percent share of the food retail market. In 2015, Alliance exported 3000 tonnes of meat to Spain which has an estimated value of $33 million.
Alliance marketing manager Murray Brown said frozen lamb was being packaged and exported under its new brand Pure South. “Spain is a market that we’ve always been into, but just in terms of going direct, from packed in origin in New Zealand, we actually pack it to its final point. From a per capita point of view they eat up to 3kg per capita, per year. That’s actually quite good in world terms.”
Spain has a population of over 47 million and a good amount of people consume meat. The majority of the meat from Alliance is middle type cuts perfect for barbecuing. The company is planning to increase its product range by including larger pieces for roasting and grilling.
Once the Pure South brand is established, the company plans to include chilled lamb into its product range as well. The company also expressed their intention to secure more stable pricing for the farmers. The deal is believed to be one of the shortest supply chain links from processor to retailer in the industry. Mr Brown said there was no one else along the supply chain, “so it’s going direct into retail”.