Central Hawke's Bay venison farmers Tim Aitken and Lucy Robertshawe have been chosen by British supermarket chain Marks & Spencer as their top international supplier.
The couple who farm 600 hinds at Tikokino are now in the final to win the chain's Farming for the Future Award.
They are up against the winning English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish suppliers - a lamb producer, a beef farmer, a carrot grower and an egg producer.
The couple are also former Hawke's Bay farmers of the year and winners of a deer industry environmental farming award. They have been farming at Tikokino since 1994 and have spent three years as an industry focus farm which has opened their operation up to public scrutiny.
They sell their venison to local exporter Firstlight, which puts it into top-end supermarkets in Britain Europe and the United States.
Aitken says they are proud of the chance the Marks & Spencer competition gives them to represent New Zealand.
"It is our tilt at the World Cup, our Olympic campaign. We would love to put on a great challenge."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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