We are a small New Zealand company quietly changing the world. Back in the early 2000s we made the decision to meet an unfulfilled demand for tender, juicy, healthy meat.
We started with pasture-raised venison, then we went about inventing 100% grass-fed wagyu beef. Today we have a small army of people and animals and the world is starting to take notice.
Our promise is to produce and provide you with delicious meat, raised right, by people who truly care. We know we do things the right way but we also value the opinions of those we respect. We have therefore partnered with like-minded organisations, to validate and authenticate what we do.
Below is a list of some of those people.
Constant strive for excellence
First Light 100% grass-fed wagyu has claimed three gold medals in recent years: the World Steak Challenge in London (2018 & 2019); and the Steak of Origin competition in New Zealand. These accolades reflect our constant strive to produce the world’s best tasting beef – succulent, tender and full of flavour. We’re thrilled to get a pat on the back from people who love our meat as much as we do!
Our wagyu cattle are raised as nature intended on lush pasture, eating a 100% grass diet, with no grains, no animal by-products and no feedlots. The result is great-tasting meat, full of natural marbling and packed with Omega 3 – the kind of 'good fat' we should be eating, rather than avoiding.
At First Light, we believe you have the right to know what goes into the food you eat so you can make an informed choice about the products you buy. The Non-GMO Project seal is an independent verification that guarantees all First Light cattle are raised on a diet that is free from genetically modified organisms or crops.
No antibiotics or added hormones
We believe the overuse of antibiotics is bad for the animals, bad for our health and bad for the planet. First Light wagyu cattle are raised without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones. We don’t believe in letting our animals suffer so if an animal becomes unwell, they receive a one-off dose of antibiotics and are moved into a separate programme that does not carry the ‘no antibiotics’ seal.
First Light is proud to be the first New Zealand meat company to be awarded internationally recognised Certified Humane® accreditation, another milestone in our commitment to animal welfare. When you see the Certified Humane® logo, you can be assured that the animals have been raised in accordance with stringent welfare standards, verified by a team of independent assessors.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. As an organisation founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, ASPCA’s values align with our own. First Light is certified by Certified Humane and appears on the ASPCA®’s list of certified farms/products.
We don’t describe ourselves as purists but we like to keep our food simple. Our philosophy on ingredients is you should be able to find them in your pantry and if it’s not absolutely necessary, don’t add it. The additives we stay away from include nitrates, nitrites, gluten and anything with a name we don’t recognise.
Cooperative of family farmers
First Light farmers (ranchers to our US friends!) come from all over New Zealand – from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South. As a cooperative, our company is part-owned by our farmers: a group of like-minded people with a shared set of values, the most important of which is producing beautiful meat.