From paddock to plate and from Taranaki to Tokyo, the world is developing a taste for an Ōpunake family’s grassfed Angus beef.
Founded in 2012 by the Carey family, who dreamed of taking the beef they farm on their 170-hectare coastal property straight to the dinner tables of families throughout New Zealand, Green Meadows Beef has now become a respected manufacturing and distribution export company.
As well as selling their product online, at the on-site butchery, and to supermarkets throughout New Zealand, the Careys’ truly Taranaki story of healthy, happy animals grown on green pasture, in quality soil and in a natural environment, has struck a chord with today’s sustainability-conscious international market. Consumers in Singapore, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific can’t get enough of Green Meadows Beef.
And it all started with a simple, yet innovative, concept of selling the farm’s meat direct to the customer. “My parents [Joe and Margie] had the idea of selling meatpacks online – this was when food online shopping was in its infancy,” says co-founder Nick Carey, who quit his job as a lawyer to help launch the online market and is now managing director.
“So we partnered with a home-kill butcher and away we went. Quickly we could see there was real potential in shipping food by courier across the country.”
The Careys soon set up their own team and custom manufacturing plant in New Plymouth, where the beef was butchered, packaged in ‘beef boxes’ and shipped. The company then had its first retail stockists come onboard and, later, a retail store ‘The Butchery’ was opened at the plant.
The company has now morphed into a staff of 25, operates from 5.30am to midnight up to six days a week, and has changed from an online model to a full service business. That includes manufacturing products for a number of other brands.
Green Meadows Beef’s rapid success saw it win the Deloitte Fast 50 Wellington and Lower North Island Fastest Growing Agriculture Business award in 2016, and the company’s quest to develop remains, with Nick and the team constantly innovating.
"Our aim is to build a financially secure and enduring business based in Taranaki that sends its products to the world. So, we’re doing a lot of new product development and forming new strategic partnerships with businesses outside the region."
“We recently launched our beef in a supermarket chain in Tokyo, Japan, based on our strong regional story – that our location and quality growing conditions impact the flavour of our meat."
“Taranaki has a lot of potential for growth.”
“We’re also looking at current consumer trends to turn stable offerings in the meat aisle into meal solutions, such as presenting familiar cuts with a sauce or carbohydrate.”
Nick says because of its size, ease of doing business, and developing talent pool, Taranaki is a great place to do business.
“It’s exciting to see the talent coming back from overseas with different skills and either continuing to work for overseas companies, slotting into local businesses, or starting something new.