Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Buyers eye farm-assured lamb

By Catherine Miller | 5th March 2014 | Stock JournalBuyers eye


TALLAGEIRA at Frances was among the first properties participating in JBS Australia’s On-Farm Assurance program to supply its Bordertown abattoir. Charlie Koch and agent Landmark Naracoorte key account manager David Heinrich (pictured) say it provides another marketing avenue for their second-cross and Dohne-cross lambs.



AN INCREASING number of consumers want to know how and where their food is being produced and have confidence it has been grown with good animal welfare, sound environmental management and high food safety standards.

This was the catalyst for Australia’s largest meat company JBS Australia to implement a customer-driven voluntary On-Farm Assurance program.

Four years on, many of the producers across four states who have signed up have stuck with the QA program, looking for recognition for producing a top quality product.

The assurance program has grown to have 650 beef and 500 lamb suppliers, with 150 producers sending lambs to Bordertown.

The idea was born in 2010 when an overseas customer approached the company looking for ‘farm-assured’ lamb.

The first lamb was supplied from JBS’s Cobram plant in Vic, but eligible lamb is now being processed at Bordertown, as well as beef and lamb at Longford, Tas, and Brooklyn, Vic.

Last October, JBS Australia replaced its existing high-end brands – except for its King Island brand – with the launch of Great Southern.

Its Great Southern brands aim to showcase the high-end eating qualities and superior genetics of beef and lamb from southern Australia. All product is supplied from those in the company’s On-Farm Assurance system.

Great Southern has hit the ground running with a growing number of customers both domestically and overseas.
The aim is to have about half of JBS’ abattoir throughput in coming months packaged under the Great Southern brand.

JBS chief operating officer for Southern Australia Sam McConnell said the program had helped the company work out the most efficient way of delivering premium programs to end users without adding complexity to the business and suppliers.

“It’s critical that we can identify innovation within our industry and make sure we can share this with producers so they can get the benefits. As a company JBS has invested heavily in innovation across many different areas of its business,” Mr McConnell said.

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