Uncategorized Articles

The Country, July 2021

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Some of the supreme winning Tunnel Hill Team — stock manager Tirrell Winterburn and his partner Romy O’Brien, Ruby Redmayne, and owners Suze Redmayne and Richard Redmayne.


The Country, Manawatu Guardian, July 14th 2022

By Judith Lacy



Rangitīkei farm Tunnel Hill the 2022 supreme winners at Ballance Awards


Richard and Suze Redmayne of Rangitīkei farm Tunnel Hill are the 2022 supreme winners of the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards champion sustainable farming and growing. The Horizons awards cover the same area as Horizons Regional Council and were announced at a function in Palmerston North last week.

Richard’s great-grandfather bought Tunnel Hill in 1936, with future generations running the farm until Richard and Suze took over in 1993.

Sheep, beef, maize and forestry are farmed across 950ha of the property that features large stretches of coastal land. Their investment in forestry and additional native planting means Tunnel Hill is carbon negative.

The Redmaynes also won the livestock farm, agri-science, and agribusiness management awards.

Richard said he felt like the family was doing the right thing for the land and it was great to have that endorsed by the awards. They were also an opportunity to share their story with urban colleagues and people around the world.

There was something pretty special about being on a family journey with continuity of ownership and effort.

The judges said Tunnel Hill was a successful mix of enterprise and systems thanks to detailed planning and recording. They praised the conservation of historic water channels and tunnels, including tools to help fish migration.

“Long-term knowledge and understanding of the property are leveraged for off-farm business opportunities.”

Farm management is carefully tailored to match the climate, soil type and topography. There’s a strong focus on tree planting and wetland regeneration, with wildlife corridors created across the farm.

The Redmaynes received plenty of advice from Woodhaven Gardens director Jay Clarke. The Horowhenua family business was the last Horizons supreme winner.

Clarke advised the Redmaynes to be brave and not stop what they have started. He also encouraged them to try to be a leader, not a follower, and to share their story.

Too often farmers and growers sit back and don’t express to the rest of the community what they do. Be brave in the challenging conversations you are going to have as supreme winners, Clarke said.

You will have people tell you no one else benefits from your food production but you, and that your food production is not needed. In these moments you represent the entire industry.

Woodhaven grows 23 different vegetables and has about 250 staff. It was established in 1978 as a lifestyle choice for father and son, Eric and John Clarke.

George and Ellen Bartlett from Gemel Trust, a dairy, sheep and beef farm at Stanway near Halcombe, won the soil management, sustainability and stewardship, integration of trees, and wise with water awards.

George said it was Ellen’s fault he was standing at the podium as she was the one who wanted to enter the awards. He did, however, enjoy the judges coming to their property as their questioning why he does things made him think. The Bartletts are on a community water scheme and have access to only half the water DairyNZ thinks they need to run a farm of its size. The cowshed yard is cleaned with recycled water.

Ellen said water is such an important resource and staff know to check the trough is working correctly before leaving a paddock when getting the cows in.

Angela Strawbridge won the people in primary sector award. She works for the Taonui-Hopkins Farming Group at Rangiotu and said sharing her passion with her team had helped them understand why they do what they do on the dairy farm.

Dan Steele and Sandy Waters of Blue Duck Station at Kaitieke, near Raurimu, won the innovation award and the Margaret Matthews trophy for commitment to sustainability.

The trophy is unique to the Horizons region and is in memory of Margaret Matthews who used to run the Horizons awards.

It was presented by her husband Tim Matthews, a Whanganui sheep and beef farmer. He said .5 per cent of the team of five million are producing food for the whole team and the rest of the world.

Farmers tend to be rugged individualists but the awards bring everybody together to help solve problems.

Food producers are well on a journey to sustainability but it doesn’t happen overnight and everyone is at a different stage of the process, he said.

The Upper Moawhango River Catchment Group won the inaugural catchment group award for the Horizons region. Established in 2018, the group now encompasses 15 farming properties that are on a combined mission to improve environmental outcomes and build on a strong community.

The other finalists were Blair and Anna Robinson from sheep and beef Te Rohenga Farmnear Shannon, Josh Millard from the Tongariro Dairy Unit at Levin, and Linton Streams Catchment Group.


You can view and download the article here.

Insight – Ravensdown, Spring 2020

Friday, August 14th, 2020

Wednesday, 5 August 2020


Lightly salted: Taking Coastal Lamb to the world


Southwest of Whanganui there’s an enterprising farming family who’ve made waves in the culinary world with their coastal-raised lamb. Victoria O’Sullivan talks to Ravensdown shareholder Richard Redmayne about Coastal Lamb, the business he and wife Suze have built, supplying lamb to exclusive restaurants across the world.


At first glance, the small farming settlement of Turakina close to North Island’s west coast would appear to have little in common with the windswept coast of north-west France. But talk to fourth-generation coastal farmer Richard Redmayne and the connection becomes clear.

“All around the world, any food that is produced close to the coast is well-regarded,” says Richard. “In French cuisine there is a type of lamb called pré-salé, which means ‘salt meadow lamb’, raised where the wind blows salt off the Atlantic Ocean.”

Like the sheep that graze the salted-dusted grasses of Normandy, lambs that graze the coastal pastures of New Zealand share the same distinct taste that’s considered a delicacy.

“It’s our point of difference,” says Richard.

In fact, the pastures of the Redmayne’s 1,000ha farm Tunnel Hill have produced lambs recognised as some of the best tasting in New Zealand. In 2016, Coastal Spring Lamb took out the supreme award at the New Zealand Food Awards. This year they won a gold medal for their lamb back strap in the New Zealand Outstanding Food Producer Awards.


“Most of our suppliers’ families have probably been on their farms for a hundred years or more, and that deep knowledge they have of their property is a real asset when you are trying to produce lambs 52 weeks of the year.”

– Richard Redmayne


“The lambs grow very quickly which we think makes the lamb tender and succulent, and it has a very mild taste and aftertaste.”



Looking to connect direct to the end consumer, Richard and Suze started Coastal Lamb in 2010.

“Following your product right through to a chef’s restaurant or getting feedback from a customer who might buy online is extremely rewarding, as opposed to loading it on the truck and having no comprehension of where it’s gone, and no further contact,” Richard says.

The couple began by introducing the brand, which runs with the tagline ‘naturally seasoned by the sea’, into local towns and cities. Thousands of hours were spent in supermarkets offering taste tests and explaining the story of Coastal Lamb.

As demand grew, they approached other local farmers about coming on board. With 18 farming families now involved, the operation supplies 90,000 lambs 52 weeks a year to domestic and international customers. Lambs are killed between 18 and 21kg and processed at Ovation in Feilding. There are two brands under the Coastal Lamb umbrella – Coastal Spring Lamb is defined as lambs killed between October and the end of January, while the Coastal Lamb brand covers February to September.


Growing Coastal Lamb

The supplier families are dotted along the east and west coasts of the North Island and include breeder-finishers like the Redmaynes along with specialist winter fattening farms.

“They (suppliers) might grow maize grain or silage and then sow the whole farm in Italian ryegrass and trade lambs all winter to help give us that 52-week supply,” he says.

Having suppliers who share the Coastal Lamb vision is essential. “As partners we are after people who are passionate about what they do, generally intergenerational farms,” says Richard.

“Most of our suppliers [families] have probably been on their farms for a hundred years or more, and that deep knowledge they have of their property is a real asset when you are trying to produce lambs 52 weeks of the year.”


“When you see the finished product on the plates it is mind-blowing. And that’s really exciting to see as farmer-producers.”

– Suze Redmayne


Tunnel Hill is a combination of sandy soils, clay country and river silt. The temperate climate means lambing begins in June. “Having the free-draining sandy soil means it’s nice and warm, and we are operating in sync with our seasonality,” says Richard. “We can get very summer dry being sand country, so we like to get all the lambs killed by early January. All of ours are spring lambs.”

Richard uses his clay country as a ryegrass and white clover finishing platform for lambs, renewing every five years. The clay country gets a sulphur super mix in the autumn, and the sand country potash sulphur super in late winter. They also grow 150ha of maize for grain, for which Richard works with Ravensdown Senior Agri Manager Bec Meyer to complete a detailed soil testing and application plan.


Market expansion and provenance

Internationally, the market has grown from an initial shipment to Vietnam in 2015 to exporting to 13 countries via air and sea freight, chilled or frozen. Markets are roughly quartered between New Zealand, America, Europe and Asia.

Richard and Suze travel up to 80 days a year, visiting each country where their lamb is sold to train the sales staff and meet chefs. A lot of their business has grown through recommendations.

“Since we’ve been in Michelin star restaurants internationally and worked with high-profile chefs, the brand has created a bit of a life of its own,” Richard says.

The importance of establishing a connection and sharing their story with customers is something Richard circles back to often. “That one-to-one time as the farmer is really important, as many of the chefs have never met real farmers before. There’s a lot more buzz that Suze and I can create by meeting them [one-on-one] than if they are meeting a salesperson on commission.”

Richard has witnessed firsthand the importance placed on food origins, something he describes as a worldwide mega-trend.

“People want confidence in what they are eating and buying. If the meat tastes good and they can trust where it comes from, those are the key ingredients. New Zealand enjoys a very good reputation for our quality standards as far as processing is concerned. Once they understand you are from New Zealand, you’re off to a pretty good start.”

One of the key elements of the business is maintaining active communication through the supply chain, from paddock to plate.

There’s connection between the farmers and chefs on a regular basis and many chefs have experienced the story in real time.

“You are only as good as the last experience you provide someone.”
“We haven’t had one chef yet that hasn’t been blown away by our farms and families,” Richard says.

A lot of work goes into forecasting and estimating demand to ensure as much of every lamb is utilised as possible.


“You are only as good as the last experience you provide someone, so we are constantly striving to make sure we deliver in full and on time,” says Richard.


The access to the culinary world has been fascinating, particularly for Suze who enjoys cooking.

“A lot of it is a work of art – when you see the finished product on the plates it is mind-blowing. And that’s really exciting to see as farmer-producers,” she says.

While they will continue to look for opportunity overseas, the disruption of Covid-19 means they will look to increase New Zealand sales via their online store.

“If nothing else, Covid-19 has really given online ordering a push and shown people it’s a lot easier and perhaps more interesting buying direct. It’s a great way to connect with customers directly without any layers,” says Suze.

For Richard and Suze, sharing the provenance of their lamb and connecting with the customer is the whole driving force behind Coastal Lamb.

“That’s what gives us the sense of satisfaction – when you know you are satisfying the end consumer,” says Richard

Shift Happens, July 2020

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

The Future of Agribusiness Report – BNZ & Massey University

By Greg Blackwood


Q + A


Richard and Suze Redmayne at Tunnel Hill, Turakina

Richard and Suze Redmayne farm at Turakina, near Whanganui, and established Coastal Lamb in 2010. They now have 17 coastal farmers from the North Island supplying the brand, over 80,000 lambs being processed per year and supply to consumers dining in their homes and at leading Michelin Star restaurants around the world.


We asked Richard what motivates him and what has defined success for the Coastal Lamb business?

Richard says, “Originally, our motivation for the business came from wanting to be closer to our customers – private households and restaurants, rather than just selling lambs from the farm to the processor.”

He says the biggest change has been the ability to personalise the brand. “As soon as we branded our product, and put our farmers’ names behind the brand, there was a quantum shift, from anonymously producing food, to farming families connecting directly with their end customer. Being open and sharing our story creates trust.

Success for us is the feedback from our customers about how much they enjoyed our lamb, and the experience all the way to their plate; a photo of how they cooked it or seeing the excitement the chefs have when working with our lamb. Prior to starting Coastal Lamb, success was the weight of our lambs as they left the property.”

Recently, they ran the ‘Coastal Lamb Challenge’ asking chefs to create a unique dish pairing Coastal Lamb with an element of New Zealand seafood. “The competition culminated in the winning International Chef, Johan Ducroquet from Hong Kong, travelling to New Zealand and staying with several of our farming families and then hosting a dinner at Palate in Hamilton with the New Zealand winner Mat McLean. At the dinner we had 60 of our farmers, chefs and food critics – it was a fantastic night that captured the whole spirit of Coastal Lamb.” When it comes to success, customer satisfaction is the key factor for Richard.


Richard also talked us through the marketplace for Coastal Lamb, how it has evolved overtime, and how they have managed to maintain the provenance story.

Richard says they are conscious that they should have diversity in their markets. “Originally the brand was established within the New Zealand market. As we grew our credentials, we began to get interest from offshore.” Richard says the business now supplies to consumers in New Zealand, USA, Europe and Asia. While it was demand for their products which led to expanding their markets, it has taken time to establish strong, mutual relationships.

Richard explains “Once we gained a new customer, we would go straight to their market to meet our new partner in person, share the Coastal Lamb story, and spend time with their teams, helping them get to know the couple, and the brand, so they can represent the Coastal Lamb brand effectively. “We want not only the end customer to be satisfied and happy, but also the chefs, and our distributors”.

They offer a membership to the Coastal Club, where members get regular updates on how the brand works, the values, families and animals behind it and hear from leading chefs working with their product to get a real understanding of the culinary experience of eating lamb naturally seasoned by the sea. “It’s all about sensational taste with an interesting story”, Richard says. The coastal origin of the product is the key point of difference. Around the world, the flavours of lamb grazed on lightly salted pastures is something top chefs understand – naturally seasoned by the sea.”


BNZ Director of Agri Value Chain, Nick Hawken, knows the Redmaynes well from his time working with the group. We asked Nick to talk us through the qualities of the Coastal Lamb business that he believes have helped them succeed:

Nick works with customers who are focused on creating their own value chain, through producing, processing and creation of brands to bring their own products to market. Working across a range of businesses has given him insights into how businesses like Coastal Lamb succeed.

“In order to create more value you have to be able to identify the key attributes of your product that are unique and align these with your target market. Richard and Suze identified that the coastal origin of their lamb provided a unique taste and established a supply chain around them, which supported all the values they adopted growing their lambs. They not only produce fine cuts of lamb but are creating a quality experience.”

Nick says in his dealings with the Redmaynes they talk a lot about the importance of quality relationships. “We’ve watched them create a supply chain that provides exceptional customer satisfaction because their values are embedded into the Coastal Lamb brand. The end result? They create greater value both for the customers and producers because they wanted to be more connected with their end consumer.”


Country-Wide, April 2020

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

by Tony Leggett




Spending 60 to 70 days a year offshore growing a burgeoning lamb brand might sound appealing to the uninitiated. It’s the relentless but rewarding pathway that farming couple Richard and Suze Redmayne have been treading for the past nine years as they carve out a niche for Coastal Lamb on a global stage.

Their journey started with an idea they could supply a group of lower North Island Foodstuffs supermarkets with new season lamb from October to January under the Coastal Spring Lamb brand. Now the goal is global and they have developed year-round markets in Asia, United States and Europe under their Coastal Lamb and Coastal Spring Lamb brands.

“It’s a lot of airports. It’s good fun mostly. Well, you don’t stay in one city for very long – usually only one or two nights,” Suze says.


“You’re basically repeating the same story a thousand times a week. But some of it’s very stimulating and the connections with chefs is amazing. The whole purpose of what we do is to make sure our customers have happy customers.”


They know building a brand in the meat sector is a massive undertaking – hence their niche target and the personal contact that comes from their regular overseas trips.

“We’ve had to start off by getting good suppliers, and we’ve had to build a really strong relationship with our meat processor. Then we’ve had to find customers who really are looking for a story built on quality and then you have to repeat it.”

“Anyone can supply someone once, but you have to do it 52 weeks of the year, without making any mistakes, and that is the exciting part,” Richard says. From their first trip offshore, the Redmaynes have always believed a spread of markets was the best way to de-risk the business and soften the impact of a crash in price in a single, large volume market.

Their target customers are distributors that supply fine-dining restaurants and top-end hotels in their region or continent. In Asia, they have developed a strong relationship with Classic Fine Foods which has several Michelin star restaurants on its supplier list across several countries in Asia, including China. In America, they work with Terra Pacific Marketing which also distributes venison from NZ company Mountain River Processors. The principle of Terra Pacific Marketing is Angus Cleland, who grew up in the Manawatu township of Feilding.

In Europe, the Coastal Lamb product is distributed mostly by All Meats, a Belgian-based company with a long history in the meat trade. Early on, they focused on offering lamb racks because they are usually very popular with distributors and end users. But over the past few years, demand has broadened out to include all cuts.

They partner with two NZ distributors – Chef’s Choice to service lower North Island and Neat Meat which covers the Auckland region, supplying restaurants and MyFood Bag.


Richard Redmayne

Richard Redmayne: ‘Anyone can supply someone once, but you have to do it 52 weeks of the year, without making any mistakes’.


“We have growing demand for three times the current volume of exports to the United States and our partner in Europe has just completed a rebuilding of their cool store and meat trading facilities, so they are also keen to take more Coastal Lamb from us,” Richard says.

So far, the Remaynes have resisted the temptation to offer other red meats like venison or beef and other New Zealand produce like wine or honey. They won’t rule it out as an option for the future, but their experience to date says it’s better to concentrate just on lamb.

“Very often when you meet a chef, you get maybe 20 or 30 seconds sometimes or a minute to engage. And it’s very easy to engage focusing on lamb. I think if you turned up and you had 10 products to offer, you come across slightly insincere.”

“When we turn up, we’re sometimes called the Lamb Man or the Lamb Lady, and we are very happy with that. We are farmers, and we’re not shiny salesmen, but that’s just the image we like,” Suze says.

“We celebrate the ruralness and the fact we’re farm owners. I mean, for a lot of these chefs, they have never met a farm owner.”

They laugh about being red-faced when their trusty laptop failed just as they started a presentation to a new customer in Vietnam. They were surprised next day when they heard from their local agent that the restaurant meat buyer placed an order and joked about the ‘real’ farmers coming to see him. It’s that authenticity that sets them apart from many in the uncompromising meat sales world.

Their biggest challenge to establishing the brand was building critical mass in supply and now they are after more suppliers to continue that growth.

As well as receiving a premium at slaughter, suppliers can become shareholders in the business.

Currently 85% of the Coastal Lamb supply is provided by shareholders who receive a dividend based on returns from secondary cuts, co-branding opportunities and from the Coastal Lamb online shop which the shareholders own.

Coastal Lamb also recently set up an Advisory Group that has members right through the supply chain. Members are Richard and Suze, Peter Cullinane from Lewis Road Creamery, Warren McDonald from Ovation and suppliers Pat O’Neill and David Jefferis.

Their 17 suppliers are producing lambs year round in the 18 kg– 22 kg weight range, on a planned but flexible supply commitment. Suppliers are selected for their coastal location and their ability to supply quality stock.

“We look for like-minded farmers that hold the same values as we do. As we are all dependent on each other in regards to meeting the brand attributes, and we look to work with people that show a pride in what they are doing,” Richard says.

They are in regular contact with each family, in addition to co coordinating the weekly lamb supply. Committed numbers are re-confirmed each week, a few days out, so gaps in supply from one farm are filled by others. As well as discussing lamb numbers, suppliers are kept fully up to date on all international and domestic sales trips and given regular updates on company progress.

The Coastal Club on the website www.coastallamb.com is a communication Suze puts out on a monthly basis connecting chefs, farmers and other key industry participant. Buyers using the online shop also get the chance to join this communication.

Lamb are picked up by the companies own truck and batch processed every Thursday at Feilding’s Ovation plant.

For suppliers like Chris and Linda O’Neill and Daniel and Anne-Cle Gordon, having that regular commitment means they can plan ahead and build other livestock tasks around the next pick up, like weighing, drenching and feed planning.

“The communication from Richard and Suze is really great. You just feel like you’re part of the company, even when they are overseas on their trips,” Linda says.


Coastal Lamb Backstrap

Target customers are distributors that supply fine-dining restaurants and top-end hotels.

Country-Wide, April 2020

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

by Tony Legget




French-born chef Johan Duroquet knew from his first taste of New Zealand Coastal Lamb loin a year ago that it would appeal to the palate of the mostly Asian diners in his Hong Kong restaurant.

He had been looking for a supply of French lamb, but when his regular supplier arrived with Coastal Lamb to sample, Duroquet was quickly taken by the product.

“In April last year, my supplier came to my restaurant with some Coastal Lamb. We cooked together one afternoon, and we tasted it. It was exceptional,” he says.

Now he’s ordering around 120kg of chilled product each month to serve to his diners using different recipes to create lunch and dinner dishes.

Duroquet was in New Zealand in February as a guest of the Coastal Lamb founders, Richard and Suze Redmayne, after winning the inaugural International Coastal Lamb Challenge – a competition where 20 chefs from several countries entered dishes created by pairing seafood and lamb in unique ways.

A domestic competition drew 18 entries and was won by chef Mat McLean from Palate Restaurant, a two-hat restaurant in Hamilton. McLean and the Redmaynes hosted 60 suppliers, food writers, shareholders, brand partners and Coastal Lamb farmer suppliers at Palate in mid-February to showcase the dishes that had won the international and NZ divisions of the competition. It was a huge success.

Duroquet’s winning dish in the Coastal Lamb Challenge was a combination of lamb loin and smoked eel brought together in a pithiver, a dish not too dissimilar to a Beef Wellington.

NZ lamb provides a high quality eating experience, Johan says, and diner feedback is always positive.

“I can say it’s very good lamb, but my customer in the restaurant is the most important person for me. If he doesn’t like it, for sure, I change the supply. But nobody has said they don’t like the lamb. Always the people are very happy.”

His restaurant resembles a neighbourhood French bistro, with a tiny central kitchen mostly open to diners to see his team in action. Inspiration for new dishes comes from his own experiences working in Michelin star restaurants in France, and time he spent in South America before moving to Hong Kong.

Duroquet visited the farms of several Coastal Lamb suppliers during his short stay in NZ and says he would now be able to tell a fuller story to his diners on the source of the lamb they were eating.

“Well, it’s the most delicious lamb there is.”

The Redmaynes say the clean after-taste of Coastal Lamb product is appealing to Asian consumers who preferred milder flavoured meat.

“It’s why we’ve had big success in Asia, because Asians don’t like strong tastes,” Richard says.

When one of their Japanese partners arranged for a comparison of lamb from New Zealand and Australian suppliers to be performed at a Taste and Sensory Institute in Tokyo, the Coastal Lamb tested was “out in the extreme” for clean taste and lack of ‘after-taste’.

Much of the Coastal Lamb story is built around the source of the lamb being only from properties that are located on or near the coast, like the highly regarded Les Agneau de Pré-Salé in France. Loosely translated, it means ‘salt meadow lamb’.

“So obviously if you’re close to the coast, sodium levels are a lot higher. The French probably, in my view, lead the world in gastronomy and food, and their culture is very clear that anything from a coastal salt meadow environment is a superior product. So who are we to argue with that?” Richard says.

That Pré-Salé story was the inspiration for the Coastal Lamb Challenge “Our special place is the connection between the land and the sea, and the coast and the lambs”.

The judging panel comprised the Redmaynes, Cuisine magazine owner Kelli Brett, and food writers Lauraine Jacobs and Kathy Paterson.

“Those guys are well used to seeing adventurous ideas and interpretations when it comes to food, and they were great fun to judge with,” Richard says.

Chefs from Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China entered the international competition.

Cuisine, Dec 2019

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

by Claire McCall




OCEAN SPRAY THAT settles on pastures of Aotearoa’s rich, green paddocks draws the sea and the land closer – and lamb grown here is elevated by geographical good fortune with a sweet, juicy flavour that is salt-kissed. Richard and Suze Redmayne who farm just south of Whanganui know this. And now they have instigated The Coastal Lamb Challenge, an invitation to restaurants both in New Zealand and overseas to create a dish that teams their Coastal Lamb with an element of seafood for the chance of some delicious experimentation and a supreme prize of $5,000. The resulting display of ‘Aotearoa on a plate’ was both impressive and inspiring.

Thing is, the Redmayne’s are not the first to have the idea to pair the lusciousness of lamb with the briny delicacy of fish. Chinese folklore has it that a young shepherd was once cooking a lamb broth when a friend joined him for dinner after a day spent fishing. They added his catch to the pot and the result was a completely different flavour profile: umami. This combination of fish and lamb also lead to the creation of a new Chinese word. ‘Xian’ means ‘fresh’ and is made up of two characters – one that is ‘fish’; the other that is ‘sheep’.

The Coastal Lamb Challenge celebrates and rewards culinary innovation using cuts of Coastal Lamb or Coastal Spring Lamb (but not lamb rack), and Richard is certain these special raw ingredients will be inspiration enough. “Throughout the world, produce that is reared and gathered on coastal land is acknowledged for its clean flavour,” he says. Richard and Suze have gathered a group of intergenerational family-run farms along the east and west coast of the North Island as part of the Coastal Lamb community – places where salt from the Pacific Ocean and Tasman are carried on to the grasses by coastal wind, dusting the herb-filled pastures grazed by the lambs.

Chefs and restaurant diners alike enjoy the story and provenance of the Coastal Lamb brand which is gaining a significant worldwide reputation. It seems the lamb pairs beautifully with a raft of seafood and Richard, as well as supplying the restaurant market domestically, is proactive at growing the export market.


Salt from the Pacific Ocean and Tasman are carried on to the grasses by coastal wind, dusting the herb-filled pastures grazed by the lambs.


Sous vide Coastal Spring Lamb rump with pāua two ways, coastal herbs and sheep’s milk yoghurt.
Coastal Lamb loin and confit shoulder, smoked kelp, dashi potato, beach spinach, kimchi, white asparagus, kina butter.
Mānuka-smoked Coastal Spring Lamb belly bacon, tamarillo purée, oyster emulsion, foraged sea succulents and puffed quinoa.
Hay-smoked Coastal Lamb, Mills Bay mussel béchamel, oyster leaves, beach spinach, wild harvest seaweed & east coast bull kelp chutney with citrus oil.


Coastal Lamb is on the radar of several leading New Zealand chefs including Sid Sahrawat, Hayden McMillan and Shaun Clouston but also on the menu at upmarket hotels in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and China. “Throughout Asia, we’ve talked with chefs who are fascinated by our product,” says Richard. Some memorable, exquisite dishes he has experienced on his travels include: lamb backstrap with Hokkaido scallops; lamb tartare with oyster-cream emulsion; lamb tenderloin tartare with smoked lamb’s tongue, Moana Pacific oysters and caviar, and spring lamb carpaccio with caviar.

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett joined Richard and Suze Redmayne to judge The Coastal Lamb Challenge alongside well-known New Zealand food writers Lauraine Jacobs and Kathy Paterson, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand general manager Ashley Gray. Kelli said she could confidently speak for all of the judges of the sense of pride in the room when judging the national finalists. “The creativity and skill behind each dish delivered the very essence of Aotearoa to each plate. They are some wonderful examples of just how impressive our New Zealand food story can be when the right ingredients are cleverly combined.” Chef Mat McLean from Palate restaurant in Hamilton claimed the New Zealand best dish prize with his dish of lamb loin, confit shoulder, smoked kelp, dashi potato, beach spinach, kimchi, white asparagus and kina butter. “I have a real love for the sea and for meat,” says Mat. “ I love being able to forage ingredients, like the nasturtiums I used as garnish, foraged from the side of the road in Coromandel. I get to meet lots of my peers through the competition and competing brings out the best in me!”

Waikato-raised, Mat began his formal culinary training locally, before heading overseas for a lengthy stint. Experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in London and Melbourne added to his skill base, polished his technique and nourished the idea of owning his own restaurant back in NZ. That ambition became Palate: opened in 2005 in Victoria Street, the classy restaurant relocated to a riverside spot and was awarded Best Regional Restaurant in the 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards. At Palate, Mat seeks out like-minded producers who share his passion for superb-quality products so diners can enjoy the best, not only of what the Waikato region can offer, but top-of-the-range goods from all over New Zealand.




International winner Johan DucroquetInternational winner Johan Ducroquet

Coastal Lamb loin and smoked eel pithivierCoastal Lamb loin and smoked eel pithivier


The international entries to the challenge also delivered some exceptional examples of how well lamb can pair with seafood. The winner, chef Johan Ducroquet, is the executive chef at Le Bistro Winebeast in Hong Kong and was chosen for his alluring take on a traditional pithivier that combined lamb loin and smoked eel. Johan began his cooking career at the age of 14 and trained in France, including working at some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris and moved to Hong Kong five years ago because he believes it’s one of the most exciting food hubs in Asia. Johan will visit New Zealand in February 2020 to cook alongside Mat McLean at a special Coastal Lamb event.

In presenting this competition the Redmaynes have succeeded in breathing a fresh perspective into the classic surf ‘n’ turf combination. “I’m encouraged by these chefs and their ingenuity in creating dishes that celebrate the lamb’s provenance and the connection between land and sea,” says Richard. The result is a modernised, globalised take by chefs who recognise a product that is homegrown but anything but humble.


Download the original PDF here

Listener, Dec 2019

Thursday, December 19th, 2019


By Lauraine Jacobs


Turf and tide


In the spirit of more famous taste pairings, chefs are invited to make a meal of lamb and aquatic foods.


There are many classic combinations of foods that excite the palate – bacon and eggs, macaroni and cheese, peaches and cream, salt and pepper and spaghetti and meatballs, for example. How about matching lamb grown on coastal farms with food harvested from the nearby coastline and waterways, farmers Richard and Suze Redmayne asked themselves. So, they invited local and overseas chefs who offer Coastal Spring Lamb on their menus to create a dish that pairs this salty, sweet meat with fish, shellfish or coastal plants.

Richard Redmayne is the lead farmer and organiser of Coastal Lamb, a group of intergenerational family farms located on the east and west coasts of the North Island, where salt-laden winds blow over their herb-filled pastures. He says the aim of the competition was “to celebrate the unique point of difference of Coastal Lamb – its coastal provenance”.

Chefs from Asia and New Zealand rose to the challenge and international and local winners have been found – Johan Ducroquet, executive chef at Le Bistro Winebeast in Hong Kong, and Mat McLean from Palate in Hamilton. They will collaborate in cooking a lamb and seafood meal for coastal-farm families in February.

Ducroquet’s winning dish featured a Coastal Lamb loin and smoked eel pithivier, along with a slow-cooked confit Coastal Lamb shoulder croquette with gala apple and kiwifruit condiment, caramelised onions and honey, and a lamb jus.

McLean won with a tender Coastal Lamb loin and confit shoulder accompanied by smoked kelp, dashi potato, beach spinach, kimchi, white asparagus and kina butter.

Having been inspired, as a member of the judging panel, by the idea of matching lamb and seafood, I created this salad recipe to try over the summer holidays when I just might be able to forage for coastal herbs near our seaside bach.



200g spring lamb loin

sea salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

2 cups watercress

4 radishes

12 mānuka-smoked mussels

1/2 cup foraged seaweed

1/2 cup foraged seaweed flowers and coastal plant shoots or fresh herbs


1/2 lemon, zest and juice

3 tbsp olive oil


Make sure the lamb is at room temperature and evenly coat it with plenty of salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a small heavy-based frying pan until hot, then sear the lamb, turning frequently to give it an allover golden-brown crust.

Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave on the heat for 4-5 minutes, before placing the meat on a plate, covering it with foil and allowing it to rest for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, discard any thick stalks from the watercress, wash it and shake it dry. Thinly slice the radishes.

Remove the tough brown foot from the mussels, taking care to not break the flesh.

Slice the lamb thinly.

Pick over the foraged seaweed and coastal plants for the salad and for use as a garnish. If you can’t get to the seashore, use fresh herbs and herb flowers.

Choose a few plant and herb sprigs to add to the salad and arrange the rest on four dinner plates. Toss together the lamb, watercress, mussels, radish and some of the foraged plants or herbs with the lemon juice and oil and divide between the plates. Serve at once.

Serves 4.

Wine match: sauvignon blanc.


Coastal foraging

I’ve often wondered how restaurant chefs lay their hands on the wild plants and herbs they cook with. I wanted to find some coastal gems for this week’s lamb salad, so contacted Megan Corbett of Auckland’s Element Food Service. She works with food producers, including registered forager Nathan McKenzie of Samphire and Seaweed, to find unusual and special products for her chef customers. McKenzie, who collects flora to order from undisclosed coastal locations near Auckland, sourced the sea plants used in my salad.

Coastal Foraging

If you’re exploring the coast this summer, keep your eyes peeled for some of these. The best places to look for edible coastal plants is around the high-tide mark of sheltered sandy inlets and harbours. Younger shoots are best. Take only as much as you need, leaving plenty so the fragile plants continue to grow and thrive.




1 lamb rack

2 tbsp Middle Eastern dry-spice mix (za’atar or


2 flat bread

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

4 tbsp beetroot chutney

1 cup sheep feta

3 tbsp pomegranate seeds


Carve the rack into cutlets and sprinkle the za’atar or dukkah over each piece of meat. Fire up the barbecue and cook the lamb over gentle heat until brown and crisp on the outside but still juicy in the centre.

Arrange a platter with the flat bread, fresh coriander, beetroot chutney and feta.

When the lamb is cooked, add to the platter, and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds to garnish.

Serve at once.

Serves 2 but can be scaled up.

Wine match: syrah.


Download the original PDF here


Whanganui Chronicle, Oct 2019

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

by Laurel Stowell


Chefs work magic on lamb and seafood


An Auckland chef’s offering of lamb tartare with an oyster emulsion and sea cucumber has inspired a competition to find the best pairing of lamb and seafood. The chef was Nobu Lee, who cooks at Clooney restaurant in Auckland. His dish, and the way lamb and seafood are paired in China, have inspired Coastal Spring Lamb founders Richard and Suze Redmayne, of Turakina, to start a competition.

The Coastal Lamb Challenge is for chefs in New Zealand as well as those in China, Vietnam, Singapore and Japan.

The New Zealand chef will win $5000 and the Asian chef will be flown to New Zealand in February and hosted for a week by the families that grow Coastal Lamb and Coastal Spring Lamb. Then the two will cook a dinner for the 17 families who supply the meat.

Entries are looking “healthy” and Richard Redmayne is inspired by the complexity of one he has seen.

Entrants have to prove they have used meat from the business, and use its name on their menus. They can use any cut of lamb except a lamb rack.

“We want to push the chefs to explore something with another cut so we can grow demand for other cuts.”

Entries will be in the form of photographs, with descriptions. From them the judges will choose three New Zealand chefs to have a cook-off, and one international winner who will travel to New Zealand. Entries must be in by November 8.

The Redmaynes started Coastal Spring Lamb in 2011 and won the supreme New Zealand Food Award in 2016. It’s now a full-time business, and Richard spends 70-80 days a year travelling overseas.

The Chinese food scene is incredible and world leading, he said, and he’s starting to form friendships there. A chef from the Waldorf Astoria Beijing is about to visit New Zealand.

“That’s what I set out to do, to have those relationships.”

On August 14 Suze Redmayne cooked the second course in a“six hands” dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. Her contribution, lamb rump with Taihape-grown quinoa, went down well.

The amuse-bouche on the menu, by chef Basil Yu, included caviar, a quail’s egg, New Zealand oysters and pickled lamb tongue.

“The taste and texture was divine.”

One of the aims of the lamb business is to sell as much as possible of a carcass at a premium rate. The Redmaynes have also begun offering online sales.

The lambs are supplied by 17 North Island farms. Two that have recently joined are the Craigs, at Whangaehu, and the Crofoots at Castlepoint Station.

Coastal Spring Lamb is on sale from October to June, and Coastal Lamb for the rest of the year. The meat is exported to 12 countries, including Belgium, Tahiti and the US.


Main image: Suze Redmayne, with chefs Basin Yu and Addison Liew, works with kitchen hands at a “six hands” dinner in the Waldorf Astoria, Beijing.

Whanganui Chronicle, Sep 2019

Monday, October 14th, 2019

by Russel Bell


Success story from farm gate to plate


Brand built on quality, value and innovation


Turakina is one of those places you tend to pass through on the way to somewhere. And that’s not me throwing shade towards the small rural enclave, it’s just how I have grown to know it over the years. But the Turakina/Whangaehu area has a lot going for it in terms of its farming community, which is part of the backbone of our region and country. It is a beautiful part of the world where hard-working people strive to better themselves and their farm businesses in a tough and increasingly volatile market.

I was lucky last week to spend time with one such person, someone whose work I have admired for a very long time. Richard Redmayne is the founder of Coastal Spring Lamb, which now encompasses 17 farms throughout the North Island. And this is a business which has gone out and achieved a number of the things which I have been highlighting over the years in these articles and even in formal papers to economic development entities. Coastal Spring Lamb is an exemplar of taking your core business and adding real, tangible value to it. The value is definitely in the product, which is in my view the best lamb on the market, but it is also in the “story” of the business. The story extends from the farming families that are part of the group and also to the growing following of highly satisfied customers and chefs –both in New Zealand and around the world.

And while the “body” of the company is a highly efficient and effective business model, its lifeblood is innovation, through which it has carved a niche in the growing market of “value-added produce”.

Richard explained to me a number of initiatives which are under way –all of them smart ideas that go further than just promoting the product. They build the brand and also positively contribute to New Zealand’s place in world markets.

One such example is the “Coastal Challenge”, which challenges chefs locally and from Asia to develop unique dishes that pair Coastal Spring Lamb with seafood. The chefs can use any cut (except for the rack) and free their creativity to deliver a distinctive recipe for judging. As part of their submission, the chefs also describe their thinking behind the dish and how they have maximised the presence of the lamb. This competition is under way, and from it there will emerge a NZChampion and an Asian Champion. Then they will meet to “cook off” against each other in Auckland early next year.

Coastal Spring Lamb is also supported by the most modern and relevant of marketing campaigns, which cements the brand’s niche and communicates the quality and point of difference of the lamb. This is a brand that has been painstakingly nurtured over the past decade, creating renown and positive commitment from customers.

If you are like me and you love cooking lamb and want to learn more, you should check out the new website. There you can find recipes and also learn how to cook it right.

Coastal Spring Lamb is now a successful and established brand built on a foundation of trust. It maximises the unique advantage of coastal farms and the sea spray that is the chef’s natural partner. It is a beautiful product from the farm to your plate, grown and nurtured in beautiful parts of our country and it is marketed beautifully. It’s a beautiful story.

NZ Business, Mar 2018

Monday, June 24th, 2019

by Glenn Baker


Coastal Provenance


The coastal lamb brand was born on Richard and Suze Redmayne’s family farm by the sea, just south of Whanganui. It’s well on the way to becoming the most sought-after lamb brand in the world.



When lambs are raised on pastures consisting of grasses, herbs and clover that are regularly dusted with sea salt from the nearby ocean – something really special happens.

It results in tender, succulent Coastal Lamb; lamb that is increasingly finding favour with many of the world’s leading restaurants.

The Coastal Lamb story is one highlighted by strong relationships and a generous helping of Kiwi ‘down on the farm’ innovation.

It began in 1994 with Richard Redmayne taking over ‘Tunnel Hill’, the family farm on the North Island’s West Coast, 15 minutes south of Whanganui. Then aged 28, Richard had a commerce degree, as well as experience in tax and accounting, and farming, in the UK.

“After two years travelling I decided that I wanted to go farming as opposed to getting a suit and tie job back in New Zealand,” he recalls, adding that a combination of physical work and mental work appealed to him at the time.

The farm was in great shape. Richard’s great grandfather Wilfrid Perry had purchased it in 1936, and his parents had farmed and developed Tunnel Hill since 1964. This made Richard the fourth generation of his family to breed lambs on the high quality fertile soils.

The farm also produces Angus-Hereford weaners, maize grain for the poultry industry, and it has a sizable sustainable forestry operation.

Of course, a key characteristic of the lamb industry is its seasonal nature. With the farm’s diverse soil types, over time Richard found he could successfully lamb in June/July and market those lambs in the season shoulders, when prices peaked.

He began exporting his lamb to English supermarkets for the northern Christmas. “However, these arrangements ran hot and cold, depending on the mood of British farmers, British supermarkets and New Zealand processing companies. We couldn’t get a sustainable pattern of growth going.

“So this lead to the idea of keeping the first spring lamb of the season here in New Zealand and offering Kiwis the chance to celebrate spring with Coastal Spring Lamb,” says Richard.



As well as supplying the domestic market from October to early February, Coastal Spring Lamb is exported between October and January and Coastal Lamb between February and September.

This is achieved through a group of 18 other intergenerational family farms that each farm to their own comfortable pattern – collectively providing a regular 52 week lamb supply.

The secret is in the clever matching of breeding/finishing farms with cropping farms that finish lambs on high quality grass and clover in the winter.

More than 60,000 lambs are sent annually to clients in places such as Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, China, Macau, Dubai, Japan, the Cook Islands and Belgium.

The company’s first export opportunity came via Whanganui chef Richard Wilson, then working at the six-star Nam Hai resort in Vietnam. He had discovered the product while home on holiday and the first shipment was airfreighted to Ho Chi Minh City in 2015.

“Part of our offer was to fly to Vietnam a few days after the lamb arrived to train the foodservice company’s staff and share our story with their customers,” explains Richard.

“A successful relationship started with Classic Fine Foods and, via referrals, we now supply them in eight countries.”

Coastal Lamb go ‘above and beyond’ to support their product and share their story. In 2016 they were offshore for a total of 51 days visiting customers (including leading hotels and Michelin star restaurants) and supporting their distributors.

“We agree to visit each country at least once a year to build relationships and train both sales staff and chefs about our products,” says Richard.

Coastal Lamb was on the menus of several hotels during the 2017 APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam and is currently featured at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, along with several Michelin Star restaurants in Shanghai.

Exporting does, however, come with its challenges. Overcoming the language barrier, for example, often requires the extensive use of high quality images and videos to make a point.

“Each country has specific importing requirements too,” says Richard “We’ve found solid email trails help in case there is ever any miscommunication.” POINT OF



Marketing their coastal provenance highlights a major point of difference for the Coastal Lamb brand. In culinary circles worldwide it’s acknowledged that any food produced near the sea is highly desirable, explains Richard.

“We encourage our restaurant clients to feature our brands on the menu – this will allow waiting staff to start a conversation with the customer and showcase the fact that they have a unique product with a real provenance story on their menu.”

Customers also want a connection with the farmers that produce their food, he says.

Richard and Suze take a team approach to training and networking with customers when they’re in-market.

“At a chefs table event there are often ten to 12 chefs, which means the two of us can share our story with the whole group,” says Richard. “That’s impossible [to do] by yourself.”

Suze is a full partner in the business and always on hand for Richard to bounce ideas off or help develop a strategy.

As to the future, the couple have ambitious plans for growing the brand.


“We encourage our restaurant clients to feature our brands on the menu – this will allow waiting staff to start a conversation with the customer and showcase the fact that they have a unique product with a real provenance story on their menu.”


“We are in the process of offering shares in our brands to our farmers, our processor, and our in-market partners,” says Richard. He believes linking all parts of the supply chain will be a first for New Zealand Lamb.

Building relationships with their in-market partners and customers is key, he says, adding that every mega-city across all continents is currently in their sights.

The focus is to become the most sought-after and recognised lamb brand on the planet – and Coastal Lamb is already well on the way to achieving that lofty goal.


Wanganui Chronicle, May 2017

Friday, June 21st, 2019

by Laurel Stowell


Humble banger with the trimmings


Sausages that include Rangitikei’s own select brand of lamb and chunks of kumara are to be launched into the New Zealand market on Monday.

The Coastal Lamb Hotpot sausages are a collaboration between Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne’s Coastal Lamb brand and smallgoods manufacturer Hellers.

It’s taken six months to cement the collaboration and get the recipe just right and before the launch the farming families that grow the lambs sampled the sausages at a barbecue.

“They were sensational and we got a very good response from all the kids — they all went back for seconds,” Mr Redmayne said.


Coastal Lamb Hotpot Sausages


Coastal Lamb is now looking to collaborate with Hellers on other products — burgers and kofta are two possibilities.

Mr Redmayne was contacted by Hellers’ business development director Jason Trewern after Coastal Spring Lamb won the top prize at the New Zealand Food Awards in October last year.

He found the values of the two businesses aligned well, and has visited the Hellers factories in Kaiapoi and Auckland.

Products developed by the two will wear the brands of both, and Hellers will pay a premium price for the lamb it uses.

Winning the supreme award has had other spin-offs. Sales of Coastal Spring Lamb in New Zealand supermarkets and restaurants increased 15 per cent last year.

The export side of the business, called Coastal Lamb, is “going from strength to strength” and has capacity to grow further. In March, Mr Redmayne made a trip to China, where he has distributors.

“We have got a great business developing there — they have already managed to get us into four Michelin-starred restaurants in Shanghai,” he said.

He went on to an event based in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong, where 650 executive chefs tried the Coastal Lamb product. There are about 15 farms that supply the lambs, and there is capacity for other farmers to take part. Mr Redmayne is getting phone calls from farmers who have 8000 to 10,000 lambs that would fit the Coastal Lamb criteria — farmers who are interested in having their product traced from the paddock to the customer.

With all this going on, he and his wife Suze, the owners of Coastal Lamb and Coastal Spring Lamb, have registered Coastal Lamb Ltd as a company. The company owns the intellectual property of the brand, though its farmers, processor and distributors will be able to buy shares in it. Mr Redmayne said the company formation was a careful, deliberate process.

“We want to make sure we still have the flexibility to make decisions quickly and effectively.”

Jet-setting aside, he’s still able to get around his coastal Turakina farm once a week, and said lambing will begin there on June 10.


Coastal Spring Lamb supreme winners 2016 NZ Food Awards

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Coastal Spring Lamb has been announced as the 2016 supreme winner in the 2016 NZ Food Awards, held in Auckland last night.

Reportedly frustrated with the marketing efforts of many of the bigger lamb processors, current owner Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne and his wife Suze took it into their own hands to set up a business focusing on the salty taste of their branded Coastal Spring Lamb. The resulting packaged product is sourced from 20 farms producing around 90,000 lambs a year and is sold in retailers around New Zealand and in eight markets, including the latest, China. Products are able to be sourced back to the producing farms via QR codes on the packaging.

Coastal Spring Lamb was the sole meat company amongst the 80 finalists in the 2016 NZ Food Awards and was nominated in four categories, winning two of them: Chilled/Short Shelf-Life and the NZTE Export Innovation Award, along with the Supreme Award for its lamb rack. The other categories were the MPI Primary Sector Product Sector Award and the Business Innovation Award .

The awards are organised in association with Massey University.

The Listener, Oct 2016

Friday, May 24th, 2019

by Lauraine Jacobs


In the pink

Celebrate spring with a succulent roasted lamb cut.


It’s a brisk walk from the farmhouse to the high ridge overlooking the O’Neills’ Turakina property, about 20 minutes south of Whanganui. You can see the coastline and feel the prevailing westerly wind sweeping up from the Tasman Sea. When strong winds blow, which is most of the time, salty mist rises from the ocean, drenching the pastures and turning fencing wire rusty brown.

The conditions are ideal: the lambs that graze and are “finished” on the thick plantain and clover fields produce meat that’s sweet and succulent. And like the famous Normandy pré-salé lamb (salt meadow lamb), this meat is also slightly saltier than that raised on farms further inland. At this time of the year, the first spring lambs are killed and the O’Neill family, with 10 other coastal family farms, market this much-admired meat under the banner of Coastal Spring Lamb. The concept and brand, originally proposed five years ago, have been led by the O’Neills’ neighbours, Richard and Suze Redmayne.

A fine example of farming innovation, the brand has grown successfully, and last week its sweet, light-pink meat was recognised at the annual NZ Food Awards, winning the Chilled Foods Award and the Export Innovation Award before being named supreme winner.

Available from early November to mid-March, the meat is sold in New World and Pak’nSave supermarkets and exported to several countries.

Spring lamb is best served rare to medium, so whole legs and shoulder meat do not need the long, slow cooking required by older meat. Pink juices ensure the lamb is succulent, but as with all meat cooked in the rare to medium range, it’s essential to rest it before carving and serving. One method – whether the lamb has been grilled, roasted or barbecued – is to remove the meat from the heat, then cover it lightly with foil and several thick tea towels. This retains the heat while allowing the juices to be reabsorbed.

The lamb rack, which won the award, is the simplest cut, and it’s best cooked as a whole piece before being sliced into tiny chops once the meat has been removed from the heat. Backstraps are also excellent, but must not be overcooked.

A whole spring lamb leg will feed about 10 people. Shaun Clouston of Logan Brown brines the leg for at least 24 hours before cooking. His lamb, which was roasted then finished on the barbecue, produced the juiciest, most tender pink slices of meat I have enjoyed in years.

Here’s his recipe for a brine for lamb. When you submerge meat in brine, some of the tasty salty liquid is absorbed, which results in more tender, juicy meat. I like to roast or grill lamb on a charcoal barbecue with a tight-fitting lid, as this adds an aromatic smoky flavour.



Brined Spiced Leg of Lamb



3 tbsp flaky sea salt

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp allspice berries

2 bay leaves

a head of garlic, halved crosswise

1.5 litres water


1 leg of spring lamb

1 tsp flaky sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped


To make the brine, combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and allow the brine to cool completely.

Place the leg of lamb in a large container and pour over the brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the lamb from the brine and rub with the salt, pepper, oil and rosemary leaves. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, then roast for about 45 minutes to an hour. Rest, wrapped in foil, for at least 15 minutes before carving into neat slices.

Serve with spring vegetables, such as baby carrots, baby potatoes, asparagus, sugar snaps and fresh garden leaves and mint.

Serves 10.

Wine match: new season’s sauvignon blanc.

Bite Magazine, Oct 2016

Friday, May 24th, 2019

by Kathy Paterson


good farming stock

Take it from one who knows, a leg of lamb can go a long, long way


Jonathan Bloom, journalist and author writes in his book, American Wasteland, about the “return to thrift”. He discusses a comment made by Katy, a Portland, Oregon resident, “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”. In Katy’s life, this has meant less clutter and most importantly, less food waste.

My contribution to achieving less wasted food is to pass on the knowledge I gained growing up on a farm. How to use every bit of a roast leg of spring lamb. I have used Coastal Spring Lamb coming off farms from the North Island’s west and east coast. Natural sea salt (driven by sea breezes), covering grazing pastures and clever crop planting to finish the lambs quickly, give these lambs their standout quality and flavour. Coastal Spring Lamb is the New Zealand Food Awards 2016 Supreme Winner and is available at selected New World supermarkets and meat retailers, or buy online coastalspringlamb.co.nz.



Roast Coastal Spring leg of lamb


Roast Coastal Spring leg of lamb


Serves 6

2kg leg Coastal Spring Lamb, at room temperature

1 Tbsp olive oil 2-3 sprigs oregano


Heat the oven to 200C. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting dish. Drizzle with the oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Scatter around the oregano sprigs.

Place in the oven and roast for 1 ½ hours. If you prefer lamb that is slightly pink, then reduce cooking time by 10-15 minutes.

Remove lamb from the oven, sprinkle with a little salt, cover with foil and a clean tea towel. Leave to rest in a warm place. You can cook the vegetables (opposite) once the lamb has been removed from the oven.

To serve, slice lamb across the grain into thick or thin slices and serve with the roast potatoes, mushrooms and their sauce and the grilled asparagus.


Roast potatoes

For even better roast potatoes, blanch in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and dry off over the heat before placing in the hot roasting dish.

Serves 6

18 small potatoes, skins scrubbed

25g butter

2 Tbsp olive oil


Heat the oven to 200C. Melt the butter and oil in a roasting dish, then drop in the potatoes. Shake the dish well to coat potatoes in the fat. Season with salt. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until golden, crisp on the outside and tender inside.


Mushrooms in paper

Serves 6

500g mushrooms (mixed varietals are great here), wiped clean with damp kitchen paper if needed

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup cream

2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper leaving enough overhang to make a parcel. Trim the mushroom stalks and place in the fridge to add to your lamb stock. Place the mushrooms on the paper-lined tray and drizzle over the oil and cream. Scatter over the garlic and parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold over the excess baking paper and crimp edges closed as tight as you can. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.



Serves 6

2 bunches fat, juicy asparagus

1-2 Tbsp olive oil


Heat a chargrill until hot. Untie the asparagus spears from their bundle and trim the tough stalk from the base only. Blanch asparagus in lightly salted boiling water, about 1 minute. Drain and pat dry with kitchen being careful not to snap the spears. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on the hot grill and grill until dark grill lines appear and the spears are just tender. Use the point of a small sharp knife to test. Remove from the chargrill and place on a warmed platter with the roast potatoes and mushrooms.



Coastal Spring Lamb

The seasons still have their say when it comes to lamb meat and recently local farmers, supermarket people and food writers were invited to Annbank, Turakina, just outside Whanganui to celebrate the launch of the 2016 spring lamb season.

Annbank is one of the Coastal Spring Lambs farms which is a collaboration between farmers on the west and east coasts of the lower North Island that sees them working together to plan and talk about the lambs they will have and when they will be ready to slaughter. You only have to taste the meat to notice the contribution of the pasture. Lambs fatten quickly on the naturally salted pastures of ryegrass, clover and plantain.

Shaun Clouston from Logan Brown and Scott Kennedy from Nero Restaurant (both Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chefs), were on hand to demonstrate ideas for cooking this succulent, tender lamb.

Shaun “added value” to a Coastal Spring Lamb leg by brining the meat in a mixture of salt, sugar, pomegranate molasses, fennel seeds, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves, garlic and water overnight or for up to 48 hours before cooking.

Scott treated us to a slow roasted Coastal Spring Lamb shoulder served with an inspired Rajasthani tomato, mustard and garlic chutney.

As I have come to expect from farmers, the hospitality was generous and warm and we had a wonderfully enjoyable day.

The Listener, Dec 2015

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Leg of Lamb with Minty Feta Sauce


Leg of Lamb with Minty Feta Sauce


1 leg of Coastal Spring Lamb

2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped 6 anchovies, finely chopped
2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

250g soft feta cheese
250ml greek-style yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 tbsp mint, tarragon, basil or dill leaves, chopped
extra mint for garnish
1 pomegranate, seeds only (or dried cranberries)


Pound the marinade ingredients using a pestle and mortar or whizz in a food processor until almost finely chopped. Cut 2cm-deep slashes in the lamb, then rub in the marinade.

Cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator.

To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients, except the extra mint and pomegranate seeds, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven or a charcoal barbecue to 190°C. If oven-roasting the lamb, place it in a small roasting pan in the middle of the oven. If using the barbecue, make sure the coals are glowing and place the meat directly onto the grill. Roast for about 70 minutes. Test with a skewer to ensure the . juices are almost clear. Once the meat is cooked but still juicy, remove from the heat, cover with foil and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

Carve into neat slices and spoon over the sauce. Top with sliced mint leaves and pomegranate seeds. Fresh cherries will give a more festive look.


Serves 10-12

Wine match: pinot noir

Bite Magazine, Jan 2015

Friday, May 24th, 2019

by Kathy Paterson


Best of Intentions


Make it part of the New Year routine to eat well by making the most of seasonal produce.


Shortloin of lamb with roasted eggplant and green bean, radish and cherry tomato salad

I came across the Coastal Spring Lamb brand when shopping in my local New World. They were having an in-store tasting and I simply had to try. The lamb was so delicious I bought some and immediately went home to make this recipe. Coastal Spring Lamb produce some of the first spring lambs born in the country each year. The season for this lamb is now coming to an end, but grab some now while it is still available and be the first in to buy some in spring 2015. Gourmet cuts are available to buy on their website, coastalspringlamb.co.nz



Shortloin of lamb with roasted eggplant and green bean, radish and cherry tomato salad


Serves 4

Green bean, radish and cherry tomato salad

350-400g green beans, trimmed

4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced

2 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves

2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 Tbsp preserved lemon, very finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

250g cherry tomatoes, left whole or cut in half


1 large eggplant

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

200g ricotta

2-3 lamb shortloin (also referred to as lamb backstrap), I used Coastal Spring Lamb, at room temperature


  1. Steam the green beans (or cooked in lightly salted boiling water), until bite-tender. Drain and flash under the cold tap to stop the cooking process. Lay out on to kitchen paper to drain.
  2. Place all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl, grind over some black pepper and toss gently to combine. Cover and set aside.
  3. Heat the oven to 200C. Line a shallow roasting dish with baking paper.
  4. Cut the eggplant into about 2cm cubes and place in the roasting dish. Drizzle with oil and toss well to coat eggplant. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and a little salt. Place in the oven and roast until soft and beginning to crisp around the edges, about 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan (or use barbecue grill), over a medium heat. Rub a dash of oil over lamb and place in frying pan. Cook for 3 minutes then turn over and cook a further 2 minutes for medium-rare lamb. Transfer lamb to a plate, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cover loosely with foil and a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, toss green beans through the salad and place on a large serving platter. Slice the lamb, across the grain for tenderness, and arrange on top. Crumble ricotta through the roasted eggplant and scatter on top. Optional to taste, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice.

KiaOra Magazine, Oct 2014

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Published in KiaOra Magazine – October 2014




A group of intergenerational family farms on the North Island’s east and west coasts are bringing a new approach to meat marketing, making seasonal lamb available to Kiwi consumers.


Taking pleasure in different seasonal produce is a big part of enjoying food. People often look forward to new potatoes, asparagus in season, or the arrival of the year’s first plump Bluff oysters. Now, a farmer from Turakina, southeast of Whanganui, is leading a drive to bring back an appreciation of seasonality as it relates to one of New Zealand’s best-known food products – lamb.

Historically, butchers around the country sourced early spring lamb, making a fuss over its arrival in their shop-window displays. Many of their customers looked forward to the seasonal arrival of young, tender, more subtly-flavoured lamb after a winter of dining on older lamb from the previous season. Yet, over the decades, the tradition was largely lost, with the meat industry focusing on a standardised year-round supply and almost all early-season lamb being sent to northern hemisphere markets in time to meet demand over Christmas.

Enter that Turakina farmer, Richard Redmayne, who saw an opportunity a few years ago to again offer New Zealanders the young, seasonal lamb they used to enjoy. His concept led to the formation of Coastal Spring Lamb, a collaboration involving lamb from his family property ‘Tunnel Hill’ and a select group of other North Island farms. Several of the properties involved are in warm, coastal sand country, which means they can lamb early, from mid-June to mid-July.

Importantly, Redmayne made an early approach to Foodstuffs, the group behind New World and PAKnSAVE supermarkets.


“As a group of farmers, it’s extremely exciting to be given feedback about your product directly from the consumer. When it’s sold as generic lamb, you don’t get feedback.”


“We had the discussion around why spring lamb was celebrated around the world and used to be celebrated in New Zealand, but no longer was,” he recalls. Foodstuffs saw the idea’s potential and, in 2010, test marketing of Coastal Spring Lamb began in selected New World supermarkets in the lower North Island. It has since also been made available in selected Auckland supermarkets and last year was trialled in the South Island, being distributed to 10 supermarkets. The customer response was so positive that it will be made available South Island-wide to all New World, PAKnSAVE, Four Square and Raeward Fresh stores this year. In 2013 the Coastal Spring Lamb farms supplied around 14,000 spring lambs. This is set to more than double in the 2014 season.

“The two key words that give a feel of what we’re doing are ‘seasonality’ and ‘provenance’,” says Redmayne. The spring lamb is only available from mid-October until the end of January. “You can liken it to whitebait or Bluff oysters,” he says. “There’s probably no better way to celebrate spring than with new season’s spring lamb.” The first of the brand’s product is only four months old, while other lamb available at that time will be from the previous season and could be anything up to 12 months old.

In talking about provenance, Coastal Spring Lamb want customers to be able to make the direct link between the farms and the farming families who produce the lamb and the packaged product in the supermarket. “As a group of farmers, it’s extremely exciting to be given feedback about your product directly from the consumer. When it’s sold as generic lamb, you don’t get feedback, in fact you can’t.”

Most of the families involved have been on their properties for a century or more and have a long-standing commitment to producing top-quality lamb, notes Redmayne. On the east coast the families are the Sorensens, McKays, McIlraiths, Kights, Hansens and Lowrys and on the west coast, the Redmaynes, O’Neills, McKelvies and Brewers.

While declining sheep numbers in recent years reflect the move some sheep farmers have made to dairy, the Coastal Spring Lamb families are committed to the business in which they have proven expertise. “The group of families we’ve got together to work with are very passionate about sheep and very competent at what they do.”

The recent exclusive supply agreement with Foodstuffs breaks new ground in the retail meat area. It gives Coastal Spring Lamb guaranteed access to a huge market of shoppers. “From a business perspective that’s probably the unique thing that we’ve achieved, a small group of New Zealand farming families working directly with a 100% New Zealand owned and operated supermarket group,” says Redmayne.

He recently attended a Foodstuffs’ Fresh Foods Expo in Wellington at which he had the opportunity to showcase his Coastal Spring Lamb to owner operators and butchery managers from throughout New Zealand. “There’s still a lot of potential for growth,” he says. That includes the prospect of growing sales nationally through more of Foodstuffs’ network. Production can be increased on Coastal Spring Lamb’s existing farms, and by inviting additional farming families to become involved.

Foodstuffs South Island butchery operations manager Steve Alexander says a concept that began with Richard’s “passionate presentation about Coastal Spring Lamb”, has clearly been embraced by customers. “The pilot that we ran last year in the South Island was overwhelming in terms of the feedback from our consumers.”

Alexander recalls the spring-lamb seasonal celebration being a big thing when he began in the industry in Southland over two decades ago. “There’s a definite heritage about it and over time, we’ve kind of forgotten about it.” Now that Coastal Spring Lamb is available in South Island Foodstuffs’ stores, he sees the seasonal revival in butchery quickly gaining momentum. “No question. The partnership we’ve got is long term. We see it getting better and better, year by year. It truly is stunning product”.


Farm to market

Farmers Richard and Suze Redmayne get to hear directly from consumers of Coastal Spring Lamb during frequent in-store promotions.

The couple have visited dozens of supermarkets over the last few years, cooking lamb back straps and slicing up tasty morsels for passing shoppers. “That’s a fantastic chance to get feedback,” Richard says. The effect on sales is often instant – “once customers try it, they tend to buy it” – and the visits are also an opportunity for the producers to talk to the supermarket butchers about the product and how the market is responding to it. “It’s been a great way to build a relationship with both the butchers and our customers.”

In addition to supplying supermarkets, Coastal Spring Lamb also goes out to a selection of leading restaurants through two Food Service companies – Neat Meat and Chef’s Choice. Scott Kennedy’s Nero in Palmerston North, Josh Emett’s Rata in Queenstown, Darren Wright’s Chillingworth Road in Christchurch, a handful of Auckland’s top eateries and Logan Brown in Wellington all feature Coastal Spring Lamb on their menus.

This will be the fourth season during which Coastal Spring Lamb has featured on the Logan Brown menu. The celebrated restaurant’s head chef and co-owner Shaun Clouston says that, as with scallops or whitebait, there’s a sense of excitement when the new season lamb arrives. “It’s something I really look forward to,” he says. The younger lamb is leaner, has a lighter colour and flavour and is enjoyed by diners who don’t normally like strongly-flavored lamb. “I think it’s a pretty special product.”

Clouston says he likes seeing sheep farmers coming into his restaurant and being won over by the young lamb. “They go, ‘oh my god that lamb’s amazing’, and these guys have obviously had a fair amount of lamb in their time.”

BNZ agribusiness specialist Rob Gemmell says the bank was excited to get behind Richard Redmayne’s vision for Coastal Spring Lamb. “This is a great example of innovating to add value in the agri sector,” he says. “Richard had a clear idea about the opportunity and how to approach it. Helping our customers capture greater benefits from the value chain is one of our key focuses. We are delighted to offer our support.”


The Dominion Post, Nov 2012

Monday, June 24th, 2019

by Jon Morgan


Spring lambs tenderised by salt-laden coastal breezes


LOGAN BROWN head chef Shaun Clouston takes a bite, chews thoughtfully, swallows and then licks his lips.

‘‘By crikey, that’s beautiful,’’ he says, shaking his head slowly, wonder in his voice.

On the plate is a lamb rump, finely sliced, with kumara, crushed peas and roasted tomatoes. It’s a simple dish. ‘‘I want the lamb to be the hero,’’ Clouston says.

This is not any lamb. The meat is from a young spring lamb, only 4 months old when it was sent to slaughter, and from a farm on the coast south of Whanganui.

It’s hard to be sure what makes it so tender and tasty, but Clouston thinks the sea salt blown on to the pastures by the prevailing westerlies has a lot to do with it. ‘‘It tenderises the meat and adds its own flavour.’’


Supporter: Logan Brown head chef Shaun Clouston makes spring lamb the hero of his dish.

Supporter: Logan Brown head chef Shaun Clouston makes spring lamb the hero of his dish.


Farmer Richard Redmayne, whose family has grown sheep and beef at Tunnel Hill, Turakina, for 76 years, agrees, but says the quality of the pasture is also a big factor.

The lambs are given the best, ryegrass and clovers mixed with herbal plantain, chicory and lotus. The grass in late winter and early spring has what scientists call high metabolisable energy.

This means the lambs grow fast, putting on more than 300gm a day at a time when grass growth has slowed almost to a standstill on most farms. But Tunnel Hill has warm sandy soils that nurtures the pastures, giving the Redmaynes a marketing advantage they have exploited over the years.

Traditionally, they sent their early lambs to exporters who paid a premium to get them to Britain in time for Christmas. But Redmayne felt he and wife Suze, who have three children, needed a closer connection to the shopper and diner who enjoyed the fruits of their labours.

‘‘How can you keep on improving if you don’t know what your customer thinks of your product?

‘‘I thought about what Tunnel Hill was doing that was unique – producing some of the first spring lambs – and wondered how I could find a market niche that brought me closer to the consumer.’’

At a field day he heard about the importance of ‘‘provenance’’ – a product’s reputation for reliability, encompassing place of origin, quality, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and, most important for a retailer, ontime delivery, all wrapped up in a good story.

‘‘It was what I was waiting to hear,’’ Redmayne says. ‘‘Suddenly, my thinking crystallised.’’

He approached Foodstuffs Wellington and the idea of supplying early spring lamb to New World supermarkets quickly developed.

The first year, 2010, he supplied 2500 lambs to processor Land Meat at Whanganui, who sent the jointed carcasses to New World butchers in several stores.

Promoted as Coastal Spring Lamb for 12 weeks, it was a runaway success with demand outstripping supply. Looking ahead to the next year and the opportunity to supply all 42 lower North Island New Worlds, the Redmaynes realised they needed more lambs. So they asked three other families to join them.

The farmers – Richard and William Brewer, South Taranaki, Patrick, Tim, Michael and Chris O’Neill, Turakina, and Cam McKelvie, Tangimoana – are all from long-established families, who feel passionately about farming and grow spring lambs on the coast.

The group sold 6000 lambs last year, helped by an in-store tasting campaign by the Redmaynes.

‘‘Some people didn’t believe we really were the farmers who were producing this lamb. I guess they hadn’t seen farmers in their supermarket before,’’ Suze Redmayne says.

‘‘We shared our story with them, gave them a taste of the lamb and were delighted to see them go to the chiller to buy it. One guy was in the checkout queue when he overheard people talking about our lamb, so he came back to get some.’’

This year, the farmers have opened up a new sales front with the aim of selling 10,000 lambs. They have linked with Whanganui meat wholesaler Chef’s Choice and Auckland’s Neat Meat to add 30 top-end restaurants and another 30 retailers to the established New World supply.

Chef’s Choice co-owner Dean Fitness says the farmers’ proposal struck a chord with him. ‘‘Spring lamb is hard to come by and these guys have a great provenance that appeals to me. It’s hard to get a compliment out of chefs but they like this. Shaun at Logan Brown has a good eye, and if he likes it then it must be good.’’


‘I guess they hadn’t seen farmers in their supermarket before.’

 – Suze Redmayne


Another who welcomes the new lamb is Hayden McMillan, head chef of TriBeCa in Parnell, Auckland.

‘‘The more chefs can buy off someone passionate about their food the more pride they can have in the dishes they prepare,’’ he says.

The lamb has a delicate succulent flavour, not as strong as lamb later in the season, he says. His waiters tell diners to order this ‘‘limited edition’’ while it is on the menu.

New venture: Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne wanted a closer connection to the shopper and diner.

New venture: Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne wanted a closer connection to the shopper and diner.


Richard Redmayne, who has an economics degree, remains the driving force behind the venture. He plans the 12-week programme, ensuring each farm is supplying the right number of lambs, at the right weights – 16-18kg carcassweight – and at the right times.

‘‘As farmers we’re told to do this by the meat companies but when the lambs leave the farm that’s the end of our job. Now we know what happens next.’’

He and the other farmers have visited the restaurants to talk to the chefs, a thrill for both parties.

‘‘It was always my dream that one day we would make our lamb into something special, but to make it to the top restaurants in our third year – I didn’t expect that so soon,’’ he says.

It is also profitable. Redmayne won’t reveal pricing details, but admits he is getting better money than if he contracted to supply his early lambs to an exporter.

‘‘The farmers are paid a premium at slaughter and we charge a premium to the retailers, out of which comes the cost of promotion,’’ he says.

The latest promotion is a restaurant competition to produce a dish featuring Coastal Spring Lamb, which diners will score for taste and presentation. The winning restaurant gets $2500 and one of its diners will get a pack of lamb cuts.

At Logan Brown, Clouston is an enthusiastic supporter. It helps that he, too, is from Whanganui.

‘‘I’ve been looking for a quality lamb supplier and it’s great that I’ve found one in my home town.’’

He says the memory of his first taste will stay with him.

‘‘I took it home and put it on the barbecue. It smelled pretty good and then I took a bite. I thought, ‘My gosh, I don’t believe it. This is great, so tender and with a lovely flavour’.’’

Redmayne expects Coastal Spring Lamb to become a Kiwi seasonal delicacy.

‘‘We’re not far off that. All we need is the word to get around.’’

It’s a great Kiwi story, says Fitness. ‘‘We want to see Kiwis eating Kiwi lamb – why should the overseas markets get it all.’’


Viva, Nov 2012

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

5minutes with…

Richard Redmayne of Coastal Spring Lamb


Richard Redmayne - Coastal Spring LambEating seasonally seems so obvious when it comes to fruit and vegetables but what about if we consider the same approach with meat? How do we know when ‘‘the right time’’ is to ensure it’s at its tender best? One company that shows the strictest adherence to seasonality, making sure their product is eaten only when it is at its finest is Coastal Spring Lamb, whose lamb is available for only 12 weeks. When we sampled their spring lamb cuts we realised what all the fuss was about—sweet and juicy, tinged with salt from the sea spray the coastal farms are exposed to, tender beyond your wildest dreams. There’s a reason why our best chefs and restaurants (TriBeCa, Euro, The Commons, dine by Peter Gordon and more) are taking notice of this meat and putting it on their menus and we caught up with farmer Richard Redmayne, of Tunnel Hill farm, one of the four farmers who make up the group of family-run farms on the rugged west coast of the North Island to, find out more.


When did you stop exporting your spring lamb?

Historically NZ spring lamb from our properties was sent to Europe but we found we were feeling disconnected from our customers, so three years ago we made the decision to keep this spring lamb, all of it, in the country for New Zealanders to enjoy. This is a seasonal delicacy we shouldn’t be missing out on. It’s only available from November until January, a mere 12 weeks, and we thought New Zealanders deserved to be eating the best of what this land produces.


Are all lambs created equal?

Generally the first lambs of the season are the best because they’ve been given the best feed. They’re the most succulent. Traditionally these are considered the best for export so we, in NZ, were left with lambs that were really the last-season’s, meaning they were actually about 10 months old.


Why is your lamb so popular with the top butchers and chefs?

All four farms in our group are located on the coast so it’s warmer, meaning we can lamb earlier, therefore restaurants and butchers can start selling it early. And being coastal means the saltiness in the air ends up on the pastures and ultimately in the flavour of the lamb.


Are there strict criteria for it to be labelled with ‘‘Coastal Spring Lamb’’?

Each lamb is hand-selected and only around 8000 each season make the grade for ‘‘Coastal Spring Lamb’’ so it is a premium product.We follow a strict protocol of no growth hormones, no promotants and no antibiotics and all of this is reflected in the flavour. I think that’s what the butchers and chefs appreciate, that the meat is top quality and great to work with.


And the best way to cook a rack of lamb?

My wife does it perfectly.


Cuisine, Issue 149, Nov 2011

Friday, June 21st, 2019

by Sarah Wall


Coastal Flavour

Richard Redmayne - Coastal Spring LambAs a fourth-generation farmer – his great-grandfather purchased his Turakina property, Tunnel Hill, back in 1936 – Richard Redmayne knows his lamb. “The first lambs of the season are generally the best, as they are given the best feed,” he explains. It’s those first lambs, however, that are traditionally exported at this time of the year, leaving Kiwis with last-season lambs that are around 10 months old.

A few years ago, Richard started to look into the logistics of keeping those early, succulent lambs in the country. He’s since joined forces with three other family-owned coastal farms to supply New World supermarkets in the lower North Island with Coastal Spring Lamb.

The benefits of the farms’ locations are evident in the lamb’s flavour.

“Coastal country is a lot warmer, which allows us to lamb a lot earlier,” says Richard. “And the sea breeze adds a salty richness to the pasture, enhancing the diet of rye, clover and herbs.”

Coastal Spring Lamb will be available from l November for 12 weeks.

“It’s really all about offering the consumer lamb that’s got some provenance.”