Taupō Beef recognised at national sustainability awards

14 Dec 2015 by The Million Metres team Auckland Council Waikato

Taupō Beef was named the overall winner of the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards held in Auckland on 24 November for its vision to lead New Zealand beef farming while also protecting the water quality in Lake Taupō. As well as winning the Restorative Impact Award, Taupō Beef also won the ‘NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand’ (Supreme Award).

The standard New Zealand farm business model of increasing production in the face of rising costs, and flat commodity prices no longer applies in the Taupō area, due to the Waikato Council's introduction of nitrogen caps. Modelling showed that farmers would soon be insolvent when having to cap nitrogen leaching and hence livestock numbers.

Protecting waterways while producing high quality beef and lamb

Taupō Beef comes from three farms which are operating under New Zealand's toughest environmental standards aimed at protecting water quality in Lake Taupō. They have successfully converted their farming practice to protect the waterways and produce high quality beef that demands a premium price.

Consumers part of the solution for waterways

There is no doubt that unsustainable farming can have negative effects on waterways, however to place sole responsibility on farmers to solve the problem is not the answer. As this would either compromise farm business viability or lead to diluted water quality standards, Taupō Beef believes that to achieve higher water quality standards for our rivers and lakes we need consumers to be actively involved in the solution.

Food, Farms and Freshwater scaling up the model

That solution comes in the form of Food, Farms and Freshwater (3F), set up by Natasha Garvan and Rhys Millar in collaboration with Taupō Beef’s Mike and Sharon Barton. The idea is to scale up the Taupō Beef model, to improve water quality of rivers and lakes all over New Zealand to a standard where they are fishable and swimmable within a couple of generations.

Subject to funding, which 3F is in the process of securing, the next phase will enable 3F to work with four pilot catchments around New Zealand to create an environmental standard and verification system for farmers to improve their environmental performance. This will be based on broadly and locally accepted catchment-specific science, which will credibly withstand consumer and competitor scrutiny.

Where to buy Taupō beef and lamb

While the 3F trials may take another two to three years, those of us wanted sustainably farmed beef and lamb are already able to purchase this throughout the country.


Selected Four square and New World stores


Whangarei, Putiputi Ra Organic Traders


Great Barrier Island, Stonewall Store

Ponsonby Central, Neat Meat

Te Atatu, Demolition Deli

Karaka, The Country Market

Oratia, Nola's Orchard

Mairangi Bay,  Vegeland

Kumeu, Kumeu Fresh,

Grey Lynn, Farro Fresh

Mairangi Bay, Farro Fresh

Epsom, Farro Fresh

Lunn Ave, Farro Fresh


Pauanui, Pauanui Gas

Pauanui Super Value

Whangapoua Beach Store

Colville General Store

Tamahere, Country Providore

Mount Maunganui, Nosh

Hawke’s Bay:

Havelock North, Bellatinos

Napier, Chantal Retail Shop


Moore Wilson’s Fresh