The New Zealand velvet industry has grown rapidly from its beginnings in the 1970s. Today, with around a million deer, New Zealand has the largest coordinated farmed deer population in the world.
When it comes to velvet, sophisticated Oriental medicine doctors and respected healthy food companies see New Zealand velvet as a superior choice over alternative suppliers. The New Zealand velvet position is strengthening in Asia due to increasing awareness of the natural, unpolluted and free range environment that New Zealand deer are professionally raised in. This resonates well for New Zealand velvet as a premium health product ingredient. In Asia, velvet has been traditionally used as aid to improve immune function and as an anti fatigue product.
Velvet based products are also becoming increasingly popular to aid in athletic performance (recovery after training), as well as growth and development.
New Zealand deer are raised in a hormone-free environment and can roam on wide open pastures, eating only natural herbs and grasses. Because of New Zealand's geographic isolation and strict border controls, New Zealand deer are free from many diseases that affect more intensive farming countries. It is this healthy, free range farming environment that makes New Zealand velvet so sought after by respected food companies and Oriental medicine practitioners.