The two primary reasons for the New Zealand beef’s quality are:

1. The genetics of the cattle – Silver Fern Grass-Fed Beef is certified Black Angus – read more about Black Angus beef

2. How the cattle are raised – pasture-raised – 100% grass-fed, free range cattle produce meat that is flavorful and lean.

Beyond these obvious reasons there’s another important one – economic incentives. In the US, beef raised for domestic consumption doesn’t have far to travel. Americans have become used to cheap, plentiful grain-fed beef, and so the industry is designed to provide the most beef at the lowest cost.

New Zealand cattle farmers are in a very different situation. New Zealand is not close to any of the major beef consuming countries, which means the costs of refrigerated transportation to market make it impossible for them to compete with local or semi local (Canada & South America in the case of the US) beef producers on the basis of lowest cost.

Because they know they can’t compete on price, instead New Zealand farmers have set their sights on the premium beef market, and have focused on refining & vastly improving the quality of their grass-fed beef exports to appeal to high-end markets (P.L.Charteris, 1999).

Works Cited:
P.L.Charteris, S. M. (1999). Pasture-Based Beef Production in New Zealand. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from Beef New Zealand: http://www.beef.org.nz/statistics/plc991.pdf