Love at First Light

25 October, 2018 by
FMCG Business

First Light, New Zealand’s premier grass-fed wagyu and venison producer, has created beautiful specialist preservative-free sausages in partnership with some of the country’s best-loved brands – Barker’s, Whitestone Cheese and The True Honey Co.

First Light’s co-founder Jason Ross says the sausages taste so good because they contain only carefully selected cuts of meat from happy, free ranging animals. “Our farmers, stretched across 150 of the finest Kiwi farms, are passionate about raising stress-free animals who are never ever subjected to any nasty practices like the routine use of antibiotics. Also, we don’t put gluten, nitrates, or any preservatives of any kind in our sausages – they’re a feel-good smallgood,” says Ross.

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The sausages – a Wagyu & Whitestone Cheese Kransky, Wagyu & Barker’s Chipotle Bratwurst and a Venison & True Honey Manuka Honey Smoked Sausage – are briefly pre-cooked, in the European style Ross has encountered many times while travelling. The sausages are fab on the barbecue, or in a bun, but equally delicious as an ingredient in paella, risotto, on pizza or with pasta.

Ross says with an increasingly health-conscious community of consumers calling for high-quality food, produced authentically and transparently, it made sense to launch the range this year – and to collaborate with others who share First Light’s ethos. “We want mums and dads to know that what they’re feeding their kids – and themselves – is as natural and healthy as possible. We chose our brand partners just as carefully as we do our farmers. They are all Kiwi companies who like to do things the way we do – the unrushed, unadulterated, old-fashioned way.”

First Light’s kransky, bratwurst and smoked sausages are available now at selected supermarkets (RRP $12.99 per pack).

Leading the charge on animal welfare

First Light has also become the first New Zealand meat company to be awarded internationally recognised Certified Humane® accreditation, another milestone in the business’ continued commitment to animal welfare.

Certified Humane® is a recognised global animal welfare standard administered by Humane Farm Animal Care, the US’s leading non-profit certification organisation dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production, from birth to slaughter.

“The goal of the programme is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. We are encouraged that a New Zealand meat company is taking animal welfare seriously. The extreme need for improvement in farm animal welfare is a global challenge we at Certified Humane® are prepared to help address,” says Humane Farm Animal Care’s chief operating officer Mimi Stein.

“When consumers see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label, they are assured that the food product has come from a facility that meets precise standards for farm animal treatment, including the quality of feed, the absence of antibiotics or growth hormones and environmental considerations such as the animal never being kept in a cage, crate or stall. Additionally, the processors must comply with the American Meat Institute standards, a slaughter standard written by world renown scientist Dr Temple Grandin,” she adds.

For First Light, the certification is another step in ensuring animal welfare remains its priority across the entire grass-fed Wagyu supply chain, from breeding to processing. To earn Certified Humane® status, an audit was conducted on a selection of First Light farms and processing facilities across the country. To uphold the standards, annual inspections will be held by specialist scientists and veterinarians.