Revamping an old feedlot on the family property in Tintinara and developing a relationship with Woolworths has dramatically changed Paul Vogt’s farm business.
Paul’s father started selling to Woolworths 20 years ago, supplying 20-30 cattle a week. Now Iranda Beef is one of Woolworths’ largest beef suppliers in South Australia, and uses the highest standards of animal nutrition and management to ensure their customers enjoy tender steaks every time.
“Over the past 15 years, the business has grown from an opportunity feedlot into one of the most modern feedlots in South Australia, with a capacity of around 4000 head,” Paul said.
“Today, we’re supplying 240 cattle to Woolworths every week; they are our largest customer and a big focus for our business.
“There’s security in knowing you’ve got a long-term relationship with a major player in the market.
Supplying large numbers to Woolworths means there is a good cash flow result sitting against the budget at the end of the month and there’s a level of comfort in that.”
Based in the Upper South East of South Australia, Paul farms 1750 hectares and runs 2500 head of cattle, with the business revolving around the feedlot operation.
“The cattle start their lives out in the paddock and are moved to the feedlot for finishing, which takes around 70-80 days,” he said.
“The socialisation in the paddock reduces the incidence of disease and lowers the stress levels of cattle prior to going into the feedlot. The cattle are fed a nutritious grain ration to make sure they are healthy and happy and meeting the standards set out by Woolworths.”
In January 2012, Woolworths became the first national supermarket to offer certified Meat Standards Australia (MSA) graded Australian beef to customers. The MSA logo delivers an eating guarantee to customers and identifies that specific cuts have been graded to meet high standards for tenderness, juiciness and flavour.
“Woolworths have really led the way with meeting consumer demands. Their quality specifications are quite high which ensures tenderness, juiciness and flavour in the beef and consistent eating outcomes for consumers,” Paul said.
Brett Thompson, Woolworths National Procurement Manager for Beef, said the MSA grading system was targeted at suppliers like Iranda Beef which have a reputation for consistently producing excellent cattle.
“Paul’s cattle consistently display good shape and eye muscle. They are well finished without being too fat and this means nutritious, juicy T-bones, roasts and rump steaks on our shelves,” he said.
“Paul only buys well-bred, young feeder cattle and keeps a detailed recording system which traces cattle back to certain farms and locations.”
This strategy, along with a nutritious feeding regime, is essential in providing the best possible cuts of beef to Woolworths and meeting the MSA grading system.
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