The programme behind a new kind of premium lamb, which has sparked a sensation among chefs in New Zealand and Hong Kong, has won a prestigious innovation award.
The Omega Lamb Project, which has developed TE MANA LAMB, won the Innovation in Food and Beverage category at the New Zealand Innovation Awards, which recognises innovation among New Zealand individuals and businesses.
TE MANA LAMB has higher levels of polyunsaturated (good) fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which results in an entirely new lamb taste experience with outstanding succulence, tenderness and flavour.
Now on the menu of a limited number of exclusive Hong Kong and New Zealand restaurants, it is already commanding a significant premium. It’s also available in the award-winning home delivery food service My Food Bag’s My Gourmet Bag range.
Peter Russell, Alliance Group General Manager Marketing, said the win is a rewarding validation for the project.
“This is an innovative product resulting from transformational thinking about the end-product, and driven by the vision, commitment and collective expertise of farmers, science and business, supported by Government.
“We see it as a reaffirmation of New Zealand as the home of the world’s best lamb. It is also attracting a whole new generation of foodies and entirely new consumer segments and markets that previously weren’t interested in lamb.”
The Omega Lamb Project, a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme involving Alliance, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and a group of innovative farmers known as Headwaters, is the culmination of a decade’s research and development.
It found that the right combination of genetics, management and feeding can alter the fat profile of lamb and produce animals that are healthy, while delivering a healthier product for consumers.
The Omega Lamb Project was also a runner-up in the Innovation excellence in research category and a finalist in:
- Innovation in agribusiness & environment
- Export innovator of the year
The winners were announced on Thursday 19 October at ANZ Viaduct Event Centre, Auckland.
Pictured: (L-R) Mike Tate, general manager of the Omega Lamb Project; Peter Russell, general manager marketing, Alliance Group; Aimee Charteris, genetics manager; and Tony Nowell, Chairman HHA (High Health Alliance)