I have a good friend who lives in Singapore, who always jokes about how obsessed New Zealanders are about the weather. That’s easy to say for someone who lives right on the equator and enjoys the same weather pretty much 365 days of the year, but I would have to concede that he is right! When you are a farmer in New Zealand that obsession steps up another notch, and during Spring it becomes an even greater focus for our suppliers as well as the team at ANZCO Foods. All of a sudden we become experts on grass growth, La Nina v El Nino weather patterns, and predicting when the perfect mix of rain and sunshine will finally arrive and kick start our lamb season.
This spring has been no different. Over the past two months our Maimoa farmers have generally experienced cooler and wetter weather than they may have considered ideal and that has meant a slow start to our season with lambs underweight for this time of year. Long term forecasts suggest that we are in a La Nina weather patterns which generally means dryer weather in the east of the country and wetter on the West Coasts. Many of ANZCO Foods lamb suppliers are based on the east side of both islands, hence the silver lining of a wetter and cooler spring is that water reserves on farm are healthy and moisture levels in the soil are good, which sets our farmers up well if indeed a drier summer is ahead in early 2022.
Regardless of weather conditions, we are expecting a busy quarter ahead and for Maimoa lamb supply to quickly start increasing during November and into December. After a poor lambing year in 2020/21, the industry forecast is for New Zealand’s lamb flock to recover well in 2021/22. That is good news for ANZCO Foods and for our Maimoa customers around the world, as it means that we can look forward to keeping you well supplied with New Zealand’s finest lamb in the months ahead.
This season will have two additional challenges, neither of which is likely to be unfamiliar to many of you, regardless of what part of the world you are located. Labour shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of immigrant labour in New Zealand, which has always been an important part of our workforce in our processing plants, means that we will struggle to run our two lamb processing facilities at the speed that we might normally aim for. Global supply chain and shipping issues are also expected to remain as a major issue for all New Zealand exporters as we seek to deliver our produce to the world. This certainly makes it more difficult to supply chilled Maimoa lamb to certain markets, but we are continuing to work with our supply chain partners to make sure we are doing everything we can to fulfil our promise to our loyal Maimoa customers.
Regardless of shipping schedules, labour shortages, and even the weather, the team here at ANZCO Foods is looking forward to working with you and growing the reputation of Maimoa lamb with our customers, chefs and consumers. Thank you for your ongoing support for Maimoa, As always, our dedicated farmers across New Zealand will make sure we put the best in so you can get the best out.
General Manager Sales & Marketing