We are thrilled to announce our Managing Director Dalene Wray has been awarded the prestigious Queensland Country Life 2018 Beef Achiever of the Year award.

The award recognises Dalene’s work to make a sustained contribution to the Australian beef industry, although Dalene is the first to say her work is supported by two big advantages.

First, she has a fabulous team at OBE Organic.

And second, she is simply following the OBE Organic tradition of wanting to make a positive impact for farmers everywhere. Just as everyone in the bush knows they need to help out past their farm gate if they want to build a better community, for over 20 years OBE has known it needs to think past its short-term interests if it wants to build a better industry.

OBE Organic was established by 32 farming families over 20 years ago because a value chain to supply organic cattle to didn’t exist.  Those family farmers knew they had wonderful organic cattle, but existing meat companies wouldn’t recognise their value – so they started their own company, and pioneered a new marketing option that has subsequently benefited hundreds of Australian beef producers.

By making a contribution to the broader industry, Dalene is proudly following the ethos established by those founding families.

So what specifically has Dalene done in the past 12 months to warrant recognition?

The list is long and includes:

  • Contributing time to Boards and groups that support the beef industry, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Council for Australian Arab Relations; Telstra Queensland Regional Advisory Committee; Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Australian Government Farm Cooperation and Collaboration Pilot Program Industry Advisory Group; the Australian Meat Industry Council Industry Reference Committee #8 – Advocacy & Communications; the Australian Government Organic Industry Roundtable; and the Australian Organic Industry Working Group
  • Protecting the integrity of Australia’s organic beef industry by visiting Mongolia on the invitation of the United Nations FAO to advise on the development of a Mongolian organic beef industry
  • Implementing one of the beef industry’s first sustainability programs, FLOURISH, and initiating projects which include:
    • The Feedback Loop project, co-funded by MLA Donor Company, to use slaughter data to help producers improve animal health and productivity
    • Being among the first agribusinesses in Australia to initiate a Reconciliation Action Plan
    • Working with government and private partners to develop new ways to make it easier for graziers to adopt safe work practices, and thereby reduce the risk of farmer injury
    • Supporting a research project to improve broadband connectivity for remote cattle properties
    • Championing gender diversity, including running a company in a male-dominated industry that has 50% female directors and over 60% female staff
    • Partnering with organisations such as such as Grazing BMP, NRM Spatial Hub and Livestock Biosecurity Network to help all organic – and in most cases all conventional – beef producers improve profitability.

That’s quite a list, and it will continue to grow because we’re driven to do better for the environment, for animals in our care, and for people along our supply chain – especially for the family farmers who supply us and the families around the world who buy our organic beef.

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