SkyCity Entertainment Group has introduced Canterbury Black Origin Wagyu to the menus of its Auckland signature restaurants, The Grill and MASU.

In the financial year ended 30 June  2020, SkyCity spent approximately $150 million on operational goods and services, the bulk of which was spent with local suppliers – with over $35 million on food and beverage items across New Zealand and Australia.

SkyCity Executive General Manager of Hospitality Callum Mallett says the food and primary produce sectors, while less visible than the hospitality sector, have been more subtly but deeply affected by COVID-19.

“Many independent producers are hurting as they have little in the way of a marketing team or international brand. What we are trying to do at SkyCity is to leverage our scale by championing New Zealand sourced produce through our restaurants, shining a light on Kiwi brands to help them grow their businesses,” says Mallett.

“Now more than ever supporting local is a key priority for SkyCity and the business is committed to procuring locally made and supplied products from New Zealand owned and operated businesses wherever possible.”

The roots of Black Origin wagyu lie in Kobe, Japan, where former All Black, Andy Ellis, met business partner Arato Tsujino while playing rugby.

Together they cooked up a plan to combine respected Japanese wagyu mastery with the world’s most pristine farming environment.

“Our nutrient rich Canterbury grains and high quality mineral rich water direct from the Southern Alps make for a magnificent product. Our cattle start their life on pasture, eating grass or hay and progress to a unique custom blend of grain created specifically by Japanese wagyu experts that increases marbling, makes muscle fibre finer, fat whiter and gives a nutty and elegant wagyu aroma and taste.

“We are excited and proud to have the support of SkyCity. Their values and business ethos mirror ours – respect the product, respect the customers and respect the producers. We are looking forward to forging a strong and lasting relationship,” says Ellis.

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