nz lamb2

Potential for New Zealand lamb in South America

Alliance Group has recently shipped its first container load of high quality lamb products to Brazil, which is a first for New Zealand lamb exporters. AbacusBio Consultant Bruno Santos has assisted Alliance Group with this new business endeavour since joining AbacusBio a year ago and in his previous business, also in Brazil.

In the words of Grant Cuff, Alliance CEO, “With its growing population and an emerging middle class, Brazil shows great potential for New Zealand lamb. Recent reports suggest Brazil’s middle class comprises more than half of the country’s population”.

Bruno says that over the past 10 years in Brazil, more than 40 million people have scaled up their social position from poverty to middle class. “With this, there has also been a large increase in “high-end” consumers, to about 16 million people” he says.

At the moment, the per capita consumption of ovine meat is 0.7 kg/ year in Brazil, with 90% of supply coming from the northeast where lamb consumption is higher. In Southeast Brazil, where most of the financial power is held, approximately 80% of lamb consumption is supplied by Uruguayan imports. “This is the area of Brazil we are targeting”, says Bruno “and we believe the demand for New Zealand lamb products in this area will grow considerably.”

Alliance Group has partnered with leading meat marketing company Wessel in the business venture. Approximately two thirds of Wessel products go to the food service sector and the remainder to retail. Istvan Wessel, the owner, is the author of nine books on food and attracts millions of listeners to his daily radio show. Bruno says “Mr Wessel has a fantastic reputation for selling top quality meat products in Sao Paulo” and he believes this is the right place for Alliance Group lamb products.

The whole process has not been without a few “speed bumps” along the way. Alliance Group, together with Bruno, have had a challenging time with export and import regulatory bodies, given this is the first shipment of lamb to Brazil from New Zealand. “Some of the issues we have met highlight the importance of having parties from both countries committed to the process” says Bruno, “already, we are exporting high-end lamb products to Brazil and I think long term, this business venture will prove to be worth the effort”.