Meating our community's needs

Thursday, 30 May 2024

Meating our community's needs

Wakaepa Farm, founded by lifelong Canterbury farmer Andy Keating, sells high-quality lamb, beef, and venison directly to Selwyn and Central Canterbury locals. Sustainable, ethical, local and yes, delicious.


A winning difference

Wakaepa Farm at Whitecliffs, is 1,000 acres of hillside breeding farm.

Meat from the region is often exported, but like many farmers, Andy was often asked by locals if they could buy some, too. With that community demand, and the year-round nature of the farm, Andy recognised they could supply to locals as well.

It’s proven to be a winning recipe, with customers enjoying the quality, and the difference from what supermarkets can provide.

“People want to know where their meat is coming from, and they want a good-quality product at a good price point,” he says. “We’re able to do that.”

Sustainability and quality

And what makes the meat so good? Andy says it starts with the animals’ diet.

When animals eat the kind of food they want, they thrive, resulting in better quality meat. This keeps the land healthy, too, by preventing overgrazing.

The quality also comes from the way the animals are kept. They’re farmed in natural, sheltered environments, and the small team controls every step of the operation with dedication, care, and passion. “Everything we do is about our animals,” Andy says.

The Wakaepa Farm range

Wakaepa Farm sell direct to consumers through their website. The online store offers two different assortments of lamb, prepared by Blair Wards at Darfield Village Meats, and Andy says they can organise other options via email. He says they plan to expand the website range so customers can pick what they want more easily – but for now, farming is the priority.

The Selwyn lifestyle

Farming is central to Andy’s family life. “It’s more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle we enjoy,” he says. “It has its challenges, but it’s rewarding.”

And while there are challenges, living in Selwyn isn’t one of them. Andy and his family enjoy the quiet lifestyle the hillside landscape offers, while still being close to Christchurch and family in Ashburton.

As for the future? Andy says farming is his “number one”, but he hopes the business side of Wakaepa Farm can continue to grow and reach more happy customers. “We hope that we can supply good products to people,” he says. And so far, they’re achieving just that.
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