The first refrigerated shipment of meat from New Zealand reached Britain on a ship called the Dunedin in 1882. Agriculture in New Zealand was dominated by sheep-farming, but in the 1880s the wool market was not very profitable. By contrast, Britain's rapid rise in urban population had meant that demand for meat was outrunning supply. A previous attempt at bringing refrigerated meat from the Antipodes had been undertaken in 1876, on the Northam, but when the refrigeration equiment broke, the whole cargo was ruined. The successful voyage in 1880, using a Bell-Coleman compression refrigeration machine, gave a valuable impetus to the New Zealand lamb and mutton industry, which continues today.
Editors. "Refrigerated shipment of meat from New Zealand to Britain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1495, accessed 08 December 2013.]