In the mid-80s, three pioneers of the meat industry saw the southern New Zealand landscape and climate as the perfect collision of natural resources to produce the world’s most tender, succulent, grass-fed, free-range lamb.
Nature provided the perfect tools of untouched, fertile farmland and temperate climate. Combined with people who shared a pioneering spirit, Blue Sky Meats emerged with a dynamic future focus, eyes-upward mindset and, most importantly, a commitment to people and excellence.
More than just an alternative to the large players, Blue Sky Meats was about setting a local precedent by using their smaller size to be nimble and provide high-quality boutique offerings. The philosophy was simple: the very best land and environment for rearing the best lamb in the world, a commitment to people, fostering excellence in all areas, staying nimble, and an eyes to the sky approach of always looking up. This was the beginning of The Blue Sky Way.
To be competitive, Blue Sky Meats had to get it right from the start. By providing equitable returns, representation for farmers and ensuring staff were proud and took enjoyment from their work, Blue Sky Meats paved the way for meat processing excellence in Southland.
Thirty years later, our eyes to the sky approach has proven itself and we’ve built our strong international reputation on that basis.
We’ve continued to build strong relationships based on traditional values, and the pioneering spirit that launched us continues to shine through everything we do today.
We employ more than 350 people, including our sales and marketing team based in Auckland. We are proud to still be working with many of the staff and their families who have been with us from the beginning, allowing us to maintain a highly experienced knowledge base.
Staff share our vision of supplying locally-grown, world-class meat.
In the business of meat processing, we believe you must be led by good people with strong values and a passion for what they do. Our experienced management team all share that passion.
We are public unlisted company supported by a board of three directors.
Like the management team it supports, our board is an experienced team with a history of delivering excellence.
With a future focus, the board drives Blue Sky Meats forward, ensuring we provide our customers throughout the world with the products they want and that our farmers continue to receive a fair return.
The board is committed to best practice and fostering an environment of excellence.
We are proud of the strong partnerships we’ve forged with southern farmers and their families, many of whom have been supplying to us since we began in 1987.
They share our vision of providing exceptional quality products to our customers and we reward our farmers for their loyalty and hard work. The scale and vastness of the environment they operate in never intimidates them. In a shared and hard-working spirit, they choose to work with their surroundings, not against them. We admire that.
In the heart of southern New Zealand sits our Morton Mains processing plant.
Our location allows us to be close to our farmers who are committed to growing stock on our fertile land to peak condition and delivering them to our plant just a short journey away. We strive to be better instead of bigger, as such, our focus is on providing you with a range of boutique, specialist cuts. Our single chain, multi-shift plant uses modern technology to produce high-quality, market-leading sheep and lamb cuts with efficiencies that enable us to be competitive while providing a fair return to our farmers.
Our processing plant is capable of processing up to 30,000 stock units per week and includes specialised boning and cutting rooms that, during the peak season, operate 20 hours per day, seven days a week.
Our customers expect the very best. At the core of our product quality lies best practice, which is reflected in our health and safety approach to food production.
It starts in the lush green pastures of southern New Zealand where our farmers meet stringent specifications to guarantee they are producing free-range, grass-fed stock in peak condition.
From independent on site veterinarians ensuring processed stock is in optimum health to post-processing independent inspections and grading (accelerated ageing and conditioning), we ensure our customers are getting the very best.
We follow a strict Quality Policy and stand by our products. We are HACCP accredited and hold the key European accreditation from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The plant is EU and USDA approved and meets tight hygiene requirements. The plant’s New Zealand MPI number is ME80.
Our accreditations and programmes include:
As part of our commitment to our suppliers and staff, we ensure that every person we engage with can expect the highest level of safety and care. Whether it’s someone checking in with our team on site or a staff member travelling to visit farmers, our goal is that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.
To achieve our health and safety goals, a collaborative approach is required involving everyone in our supply chain. We are conducting a full health and safety audit to identify further ways to enhance safety in the workplace and we’ve empowered our staff to contribute to this ongoing process.
Sustainability is at the core of our business. As part of our ground-up Strategic Review, we reviewed how we can better look after our environment and minimise waste across all our operations.