Business Central December 2021

44 | A decade of growth and more to come T Karen Phelps Wellington Gold Awards: Eketahuna Country Meats REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT 0800 SELLAR 06 377 3199 81 Queen St Masterton Proud to be associated with Eketahuna Country Meats E ketahuna Country Meats started out as a way for owners Pip and Steve Olds to gain more consistent returns for the meat that they were producing on their 140ha farm. Now ten years later the company has grown and developed so much that the Olds made the tough decision to sell their farm to Glen- burn Station who have been a key supplier with the business from the beginning. This was done to let the Olds focus on cater- ing to their customers and growing range of producers, which now include meat, milk, fruit and vegetables, coffee beans, eggs, kombucha and olive oil. “As parents we wanted our kids to be eating quality unprocessed food as much as possible and through Eketahuna Country Meats we were able to provide this for other families as well,” explains Steve citing another reason they started the company. “We have basically grown the business by adapting to what our customers want.” Eketahuna Country Meats processes its own meat at its butchery in Masterton and milk at its milk processing plant between Masterton and Carterton. “We collect the milk from the farm and do everything ourselves. The carcasses are de- livered then we process it into cuts,” explains Steve. The company takes charge of the delivery itself covering the lower North Island from Palmerston North south and customers sim- ply order online. Meat products are couriered all around New Zealand. It delivers mainly to homes but business offices are also clients for the milk and Eketahuna Country Meats deliv- ers its milk to Victoria University and Massey University. Although initially Eketahuna Country Meats was the primary producer as the business grew the Olds started to include other farming families that were friends of theirs and had similar farming values - namely high levels of animal welfare and sustainability (Eketahuna Country Meats uses compostable vacuum bags and glass bottles for its milk). Other producers have since come on board to meet demand. “We only select the very best and we know where it has come from and how it has been raised or produced. We know that this is the start to providing a top quality product,” explains Steve. “Our producers are smaller producers who are passionate about what they’re doing and focus on quality not quantity.” He says the business has grown during the pandemic as people become more accus- tomed to ordering online and more focused on health and the quality of the food they are eating. There has also been an increased interest in cooking and the Olds have a recipe section on their website to cater to demand full of inspiration. “Most people only have a handful of meals they cook and get into hab- its. It’s about discovering the joys of cooking and that starts with quality ingredients.” Eketahuna Country Meats employs a team of around 10 staff. Pip takes charge of the ad- ministration side of the business. The company was recently recognised in The Wellington Gold Awards, being named finalists in the categories of Emerging Gold – Products and Green Gold. A family affair - from left, James, Steve, Isabelle, Guy and Pip Olds.