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Bringing southern lamb to the digital fingertips of all New Zealanders, Blue Sky Butchery is a completely online store where users will be able to purchase the finest and freshest cuts of Southland lamb, delivered overnight nation-wide.

Many cuts of this New Zealand-favourite will be available, including Frenched racks, striploin, leg, shoulder, loin chops and mince.

Blue Sky Pastures CEO Todd Grave said the move to open the online butchery was one the company had been looking to for a while, with the popularity of delivery-based services continuously growing.

“We have always been aware of the potential for online sales and there are good success examples both in New Zealand and overseas, which we have monitored in recent years,” he said.

“COVID-19 resulted in radical changes in consumer purchase habits over lockdown, and this change is something that isn’t likely to let up as we all seek to be able to coordinate services and purchase online.”

Launching the butchery was also a small step towards the company’s strategic aspiration to lessen its dependence on commodity markets by moving further along the value chain to get closer to the end consumer. This channel of sales and distributions will allow Blue Sky Pastures to interact directly with end consumers, get their feedback and responses and subsequently tailor offerings best suited to the market.

Blue Sky Pastures is known worldwide for its boutique offerings of tender and succulent New Zealand grass-fed lamb raised on unique southern pastures. Now, those closer to home would be able to grab a slice of these export-quality cuts.

The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year presented a prime opportunity to put the concept to the test. With the online store built, a trial of the butchery took place in May and was a big hit among users, who gave constructive feedback.

There are signs that the move to increased online purchasing of groceries that was precipitated by COVID-19 will continue.

“Now is the ideal time to meet the demand for increased online offerings with our export-quality, world-class produce,” Grave said.

The butchery’s chilled lamb products extend Blue Sky Pastures’ existing retail range of cuts and will make available southern lamb sourced from the company’s loyal farmer-suppliers.

Proud Southland suppliers like the Frews, who farm in Otapiri, and the Scotts in the Waikana. Like many Southland farmers, the Frews and Scotts belong to a legacy of generational farmers who have worked the land, raising lamb, for decades. Both families have been farmer-suppliers with Blue Sky Pastures for several years.

“We’ve been working with our suppliers over several years, and many of them have actually requested a launch of the butchery so they can share their product with wider consumers,” Grave said.

“It’s the ultimate endorsement that they’ve been asking for it, and to have their care and pride behind our lamb products.” launches this morning, Sunday 20 September.