Taupō Beef was established to test consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for beef that is helping protect the water of Lake Taupō. To do this, the company has engaged consumers with the farm practices that lead to outstanding meat product quality.
Unsustainable farming can cause damaging effects on waterways, but to place sole responsibility on farmers to solve the problem would either compromise farm business viability or lead to diluted water quality standards. Taupō Beef believes that to achieve higher water quality standards for our rivers and lakes we need consumers to be actively involved in the solution.
Independent, annual auditing and monitoring of farm practices by Waikato Regional Council has been used to verify brand claims around water quality. The use of Taupō beef by high end restaurants and chefs has helped provide assurance of the meat quality.
Since Taupō Beef started selling beef in 2011, demand in the Central Plateau region has consistently exceeded supply. The company has recently begun expansion into the Auckland and Wellington markets, and has added Taupō Lamb to the product mix. An export market is the next phase of growth.
The impact of the model has the potential to permanently change farming practices and consumers’ purchasing behaviour.
Taupō Beef is a finalist in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Restorative Impact category.