Quality Assurance


To qualify as Cervena® natural tender venison, the animal must be three years of age or under, and raised naturally without hormones or steriods on the fresh open pastures of New Zealand. Cervena® venison must be processed according to internationally recognized quality standards. This processing is independently audited to industry agreed standards. Combined quality and marketing criteria mean Cervena® venison delivers consistently high quality product.

How Animals Are Raised
In order to qualify for Cervena®, the animals must be three years or under and raised in the most natural ways-- free range on farms ranging from 200 to over 2,000 acres, fed grass with natural supplements such as hay, and given no hormones or steriods.

NZ Accreditation Programs
On-the-Farm- A large percentage of NZ farms are registered to the Deer Quality Assurance program. Goals of the program are to manage the health and welfare of the animals and handlers, and assure quality products. Accredited farmers are audited to assure that farms practices are in place to meet these goals.

Transport - 98% of transport companies that move animals from the farms are accredited to the Deer Quality Assurance program. Drivers are trained and are responsible for the safety and welfare of the deer, and ensure that all required health documentation is available.

Processing Plants - All Cervena® processing plants are audited to industry agreed standards to ensure consistent presentation of quality products. These standards were developed by the deer industry and include all parts of plant operations to achieve food safety and optimum product quality. Plants are audited regularly.

Results of Cervena's QA Program

Cervena® Natural Tender Venison is:

  • Consistent- order to order
  • Tender- from animals three years and under
  • Premium Quality- with stringent quality controls
  • Natural- no steriods or hormones, free range
  • Healthy- low in fat, calories and cholesterol, yet a good source of protein and iron
  • Mild yet distinctive taste- not gamey
  • Easy to prepare- with quick cooking
  • High yield- requiring minimal trimming
  • Long shelf life- for fresh meat that is maintained at 29.5°-31° F
  • Available year round



How to Recognize Cervena
Cervena is quickly and easily distinguished by its packaging.

Freshly chilled Cervena is packaged in gold striped packaging.


 Frozen Cervena in silver striped packaging.

Licensed Cervena companies add their own Brand logos and information to standardized packages.

Shelf Life

Freshly chilled Cervena® venison has a shelf life of up to 14 weeks unopened in the refrigerator when held at constant temperatures between 29.5°-31° F (-1.0°±0.5° C) or up to two weeks in most home refrigerators at 39° F (4° C). It keeps in the freezer for up to two years at 0°F (-18° C) or below.

For best storage results and good hygiene, keep the Cervena® at a constant temperature between the specified ranges. Thaw frozen product in a refrigerator to ensure good food safety.