Bucking the trend: Scott McNeil explains the struggles of getting Kiwis keen on venison

Bucking the trend: Scott McNeil explains the struggles of getting Kiwis keen on venison

Awatoru Enterprises is a small operation but they are doing very big things in artisan fishing and wild food supplies.

Based on the Kapiti Coast, they supply the hospitality and restaurant trade. They are also involved with an outfit called 'With Wild' which works with the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation to manage the local deer population.

Scott McNeil from Awatoru Enterprises told REX host Dominic George that the Wapiti Foundation also now offers a 'direct to home' delivery service to expand the availability of their produce.

"There's a home delivery set up, so people can buy and get Wapiti delivered straight to their door," he said.

"There's a mixture of products, small goods, beautiful Wapiti venison pies, steak medallions, diced meat, there's a whole range on the With Wild website."

MyFoodBag is also currently offering a Wapiti dish, and McNeil believes expanding their network of outlets supplying pre-made food will help more Kiwis become comfortable with the idea of making venison a more regular part of their diet.

McNeil is also a co-founder of 'With Wild' which was created during lockdown to take a fresh perspective on the process of procuring venison as a long-term meat option for New Zealanders.

"It was great to get fresh eyes on this.

"To me, it looked somewhat overwhelming so I just knocked heads with a couple of good guys that I deal with in Auckland in the restaurant world.

"One thing led to another and then Zoom meetings began and they haven't ended since, it's fantastic."

Listen to the full chat between Scott McNeil and Dominic George above.

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