Free-range on the menu at burger joint
A local burger joint is treading where no fast food chain has dared to tread before.
Murder Burger on Ponsonby Rd has declared itself completely free-range.
The gourmet burger chain has become known during the past year for its provocative and cheeky advertising which happily labels its meat as murder.
For some of the shop’s carnivorous patrons, the warm fuzzy free-range message might seem ironic.
But Olivia Woodroffe, wife of part-owner Paul Shale, says it’s simply about being honest.
Mrs Woodroffe, who initiated the idea, has a background in advertising and says she knows the industry is often less honest than it could be.
“Let’s face it, meat is murder, we’re not trying to hide behind anything,” Mrs Woodroffe says.
But she says if there’s a way to ensure the animals had a happy life, it makes sense.
Only using free-range products at home, she says it seemed wrong not to do it in business as well.
“I know a lot of people who only want their family to have humanely farmed meat.”
She says she’s made it very hard for the company’s team of owners, making sure they implement the free-range meat and eggs as strictly as possible.
The company’s public relations manager Kirk MacGibbon says he hopes that by going freerange, it can encourage a chain reaction, eventually making it easier to access free-range chicken, pork and beef in New Zealand.
“Free-range still feels like the underdog.
“New Zealand has a great opportunity to really adopt this kind of farming,” he says.
Marketing manager for the nearby takeaway rival Burger Fuel Alexis Lam says although the company has always wanted to go free-range, it’s much harder because of its size.
With 24 stores nationwide, he says the business is stuck in an awkward place.
“We’re too big to guarantee the supply but too small to make a difference.”
However he says Burger Fuel specifies wherever possible that it wants and prefers free-range and hopes in future that the supply will become more easily available.
“If everyone goes out tomorrow and buys freerange bacon, we can start to change,” Mr Lam says.
“For us it’s about doing the best we can with what we’ve got.”
Murderously humane: Murder Burger’s Kirk MacGibbon, left, and Olivia Woodroffe are proud to declare the Ponsonby shop completely free-range.