Tonnes of wild Fiordland venison being given to food banks as export market slows

Wild Fiordland venison collected during annual culls is being given to food banks and families as the export market continues to struggle - and Nadia Lim is creating recipes for families to cook it.

Packages of wild Fiordland venison is being given to food banks and families in need. Source: Supplied

The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation, Game Animal Council and Department of Conservation are working together to provide about 18,000kg of venison by the end of July.

Fiordland Wapiti Foundation president Roy Sloane said this year's cull will take about 600 animals, and their meat will be distributed to thousand of New Zealand families.

The management of deer numbers in Fiordland is for both recreation and conservation, Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale said.

"With the loss of venison export markets, this will assist with keeping meat processing staff employed and help local helicopter operators while providing protein to Kiwi families in need."

Celebrity chef and entrepreneur Nadia Lim has also created a range of easy recipes for families to follow to cook the venison, which are available here.

Nadia Lim, co-founder of My Food Bag. Source: My Food Bag

The expansion of the project to other areas of the country is now being considered.