Demand for Hawke’s Bay deer velvet is taking a giant leap with the success of a local company promoting the product expanding into new and unchartered export markets.
Havelock North based deer velvet company Gevir is celebrating now exporting its established velvet supplements into China and the United States, with sights also set on Canada, Japan and South Korea by the end of 2017.
Local businessman and farmer Josh Buckman saw the untapped potential of the business, soon after he took over the reins two years ago from Shelley and Clint Thomson, who owned and founded Gevir in 1991.
Not only is the innovative health supplement company charging into new markets, sales of its products have spiked with the launch of a new velvet pet product.
The chewable tablets are flying off the supply shelves of rural retailers, as increasing numbers of Kiwi Farmers discover the benefits of the pet diet supplement for day-to-day farm operation.
Gevir (pronounced “Gee-ver”) Deer Velvet Managing Director, Josh Buckman says he has been overwhelmed by the number of farmers who have purchased it, to improve dog performance and longevity.
“We knew the Gevir pet product would be an attractive option for pet dogs, especially older dogs, but we didn’t expect the product to be so popular for working dogs.”
Hawke’s Bay Farmer, Mike Ritsson Thomas has a 13-year-old heading dog called “Thai” who recently tore her Achilles. After the vet tried several different treatments, which didn’t work he opted to start feeding her his Gevir deer velvet tablets.
“It was a like a miracle because suddenly Thai just came right and she no longer had a busted achilles. She was back out on the farm with me mustering and easily jumping on and off the bike. It was just unbelievable how the deer velvet gave her a new lease of life.”
“Thai” wasn’t the only ‘miracle’ deer velvet case for the Tikokino sheep & beef farmer, his wife Caroline has a 12-year-old Aussie Terrier called “Fergie” who was starting to turn bald.
“She was so bald that her tail poked out like a finger. So, I fed her Gevir deer velvet tablets every day and within a few months she had a thick coat again, she was also much more spritely and back running around the farm.”
Mr Ritsson Thomas has been taking the Gevir Deer velvet tablets for over 10 years.
“As a farmer you get a lot of bashes and bruises. I find the deer velvet helps me heal very quickly and I don’t have the aches I had before.”
His wife Caroline Rittson Thomas used to have arthritis in her knee, but after taking Gevir for 3 months the pain has stopped.
“If I stop taking the deer velvet tablets, I get aches and pains, so there is a noticeable difference.”
Hawke’s Bay based company, Gevir has been making the deer velvet supplements for nearly 30 years, with premium deer antler velvet being the only ingredient.
“We have a loyal following in New Zealand because our untouched products work, the growth potential is in exporting our story and quality products. There is a much bigger customer base abroad and a huge opportunity to tell a unique story.
“Deer Velvet is one of the only renewable sources of all 9 essential amino acids the body needs to grow and repair, it is made up glucosamine, collagen, Omega 3 and 6, minerals, nutrients and lipids to name a few. It’s an adaptogen, increasing the body’s ability to withstand stress and ward off exhaustion. The more we can educate our customers about the benefits of our sustainable and natural supplement, the better.”
Alongside its new pet product, Gevir plans to grow its product base with a new skincare range later in 2017.