Whanganui Chronicle, Sep 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.