We know that by going to great lengths in market research to understand what people want, and feeding that information back to our plants, and our farmers makes all the difference to the red meat on your plate.
Many of our 7,000 staff work in our cutting edge processing plants, which we regard as ‘innovation centres’. We feed our plant network the information we get from the marketplace to ensure our expert staff are producing food to meet market demands. Our food people take pride in mastering their craft in butchery and honing skills that set the Silver Fern Farms’ team apart.
While working to the highest standards of care at our plants, our people work through New Zealand Qualifications Authority approved training courses to achieve their full potential. Our staff are encouraged to contribute to an ongoing improvement programme which targets product quality, cost efficiency, and reduced injury risks.
As talented as our teams in plant are, to produce the world’s best lamb, beef, and venison, they need to start with the best livestock New Zealand has to offer.
Our livestock representatives are a crucial link between our processing plants and our farmers. The livestock team deal with farmers to source the best stock, and inform them of our end goals in market to ensure they can be met on farm.
Our Processing Sites
We operate 16 processing sites around New Zealand.
Our flagship Te Aroha plant “Te Kaauta” (which means ‘place to hear, see, speak and prepare food’ in Maori) is New Zealand’s most modern beef processing site. It was developed in consultation with internationally recognised experts in process layout and ergonomics. It incorporates the latest technologies, including sophisticated traceability and yield collection systems. Eco-efficiency and sustainability were at the forefront of considerations in its design.
Our plants operate at the heart of rural New Zealand communities. Our people are passionate about providing excellent service to farmers and supporting the grass root communities.
For our people to produce the best red meat, they need the best tools. We invest in research and technology to stay at the forefront of industry developments. Innovative x-ray grading systems have been installed at our plants to provide precise online measures of quality and value. Knowledge of yields gives reliable and relevant information on animal performance from the marketplace back to our farmers, and improves our decision making on cutting to best suit our customers’ needs and the best way to process carcases.
This system integrates with other sophisticated processing technologies including robotic cutting machines; innovative de-boning and trimming systems and automated conveyor systems. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking systems are used for product traceability providing close monitoring and control of critical key production indicators in real time throughout the complete processing cycle.