Earlier this month, Air New Zealand got in on the meatless-meat trend with the launch of the plant-based 'Impossible Burger'. Now, Virgin Australia is searching for New Zealand's finest meat for its New Zealand to Australia flights.
The search demonstrates the airline's commitment to serving local produce and to kick it all off, it's released a video calling for New Zealand meat suppliers to submit their interest in providing their produce on board. It watches an Australian farmer walking through a cattle farm discussing the quality of Kiwi meat.
"Proudly sourcing local meat," he says, referring to Virgin Australia.
The successful supplier will work alongside Virgin Australia and its local caterer, LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand, to develop a bespoke dish, designed to showcase the quality of local New Zealand produce.
Virgin Australia general manager of customer experience and product, Tash Tobias says New Zealand continues to produce arguably some of the highest quality meat in the world, just like Aussie farmers.
"We can’t wait to meet the country’s best meat suppliers, and work with the winner on developing a tasty dish for guests travelling from New Zealand to Australia.”
And with the line "It's not impossible. It's no bull!" in the Virgin Australia ad Facebook call to action, it's hard not to see Virgin Australia poking fun at Air New Zealand's 'Impossible Burger'.
While environmentalists and vegans praised New Zealand's national airline for doing something different, the plant-based meat alternative also came under fire with New Zealand First Primary Industry spokesperson and Southern Sheep and Beef farmer Mark Patterson saying its a "slap in the face" for New Zealand's red meat sector.
Supporting the statement, The NZ First Party is backing Virgin Australia's campaign. In a media release, the party says it applauds New Zealand's trans-Tasman neighbours for getting in behind premium New Zealand red meat in the advertising campaign.
Patterson added: “Good on the Aussies for recognising our world-class beef and lamb, and I am delighted that our produce is being promoted by our closest neighbours. It’s great to see an airline backing our Kiwi beef farmers.”