News & Updates

Hereford Prime Celebrates Turning 25!

John Flynn from Bowmont Wholesale Meats, left with Laurie Paterson cutting the celebratory 25th anniversary cake.

To borrow a turn of phrase, Hereford Prime is now a heritage brand and we reckon that’s something to be celebrated!

And we did, in style with the members and councillors of NZ Herefords at the recent AGM held at Orlando Country, Palmerston North. We were also joined by John and Judith Flynn of Bowmont Wholesale Meats in Invercargill.

Cake maker extraordinaire Cheryl Stacey with Duncan Mitchell of Tusons Herefords.

Anyone, who’s been in the midst of the meat industry will attest it can sometimes be difficult to navigate so to have notched up 25 years and be the original branded beef programme in New Zealand is somewhat of a milestone.

John and Judith Flynn and their family own Bowmont Wholesale Meats, Invercargill and have been part of the brand from the very beginning – and that started a couple of years before the brand’s constitution was signed in 1994.

The Flynns attended the NZ Herefords AGM and spoke about their relationship with Hereford Prime over the years and also attended the NZ Herefords National Show and Sale the following day.

John told those gathered that he can remember the day well when he first met the late Don Goodall and Laurie Paterson when Don came straight out and asked him what he knew of aging beef. He told the evening that he responded knowing about aging but it was after further discussion with the two men, it became clear they were looking to take aging to a new level. He said, “over the years and to this day we have the same great
quality product coming into the Bowmonts factory, with son Stephen now at the helm.”

Succulent Hereford Prime eye fillet was enjoyed by everyone at the NZ Herefords AGM and 25th celebrations of Hereford Prime.

“We find there is a need for branded beef as there is a lot of below par beef on the market. We believe Hereford Prime is a much juicer steak to eat compared to others with great flavour once aged on the bone for three weeks. We look forward to many more years with our Hereford Prime family.”

John had taken the time to approach Ascot Park Hotel executive chef, Simon Henry for his thoughts on the brand too. This is what Simon had to say:- “I have had the pleasure to be working with Bowmont Meats and Hereford Prime for the last seven years.”

Bowmont Meats and Hereford Prime have contributed to the success of the Ascot Park and Emberz restaurant making Emberz Restaurant one of the best restaurants in Southland. Our ethos is “farm to fork, food with honesty, from sources of integrity” food that is grown, harvested and procured by passionate people. This is synonymous with Bowmont Meats and Hereford Prime who provide us with exceptional product. Bowmont Meats and Hereford Prime beef products are unrivalled for quality, juiciness, taste and tenderness, sourced from locally farmed, grass fed traceable cattle, our beef is hand-picked and assessed to strict quality criteria.

Bowmont Meats also go that extra mile to meet my needs, one of which is to dry age Hereford Prime product for up to 31 days in a humidity controlled room to produce the best beef in town. Thank you to Bowmont Meats and Hereford Prime for your support and continued collaboration.”

Hereford Prime chairman Laurie Paterson said it certainly doesn’t feel like 25 years and there are four things that he takes great satisfaction from.

  1. The fact we’ve made it to 25 years
  2. The fact we have dealt with many people in that time and remain on good pick-up-the-phone terms with all of them.
  3. The rapport we have built with the family owned processors we deal with every day – Bowmont Wholesale Meats, Magills Artisan Butchery and Cabernet Foods.
  4. And the fact that the brand is still owned by the NZ Hereford Association, you the stud Hereford breeders of NZ, and has not been sold off to anyone else.

The crowd that attended the hilarious Hereford Prime auction.

“We are the only guys pushing the quality of Hereford cattle to the end user. So a big thank you to you as breeders for your support. Thanks to the members of the Hereford Prime Club who answered the call when we needed you, thanks to Natalie as brand manager and thank you to John and Judith Flynn for representing our loyal processors.”

Laurie went on to say, with a chuckle, that one of the reason’s he’d asked the Flynns to join the evening was so a master butcher would carve the 3D sculptured Hereford cake. Brand manager for Hereford Prime, Natalie Campbell said there was a process spanning over a couple of months in
commissioning the celebratory sculptured heifer cake.

She initially went about identifying a cake maker with extreme skills and then they spent an afternoon at Tusons Hereford Stud looking at heifers so the cake maker could get an understanding of the breed. Cheryl Stacey of Lady Cs Cake Boutique in Palmerston North felt that a sculptured cake standing carrying its own weight was the best option to celebrate such a milestone. While at the Mitchell’s sand country property an autumn born
calf was measured so Cheryl could develop scale as best she could while allowing for the technical issues of a free standing cake.

In the end it took three people to carry the chocolate cake weighing about 70kg and took about 65 hours to construct and craft.

The cake itself not only looked great but tasted amazing as well and was a hit with the membership and guests at the AGM and Hereford National Show and Sale alike.

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