Organic cattle graziers have encouraged other producers to take advantage of market tours offered by farmer-owned OBE Organic to see where their beef is sold.

Grant and Gina Rieck who run 4,000 head of organic cattle at “Bollards Lagoon” near Cameron Corner, and Sharon and Graham Betts who run 10,000 head of organic cattle at “Epsilon” in SW Queensland and “Mungerannie” near Lake Eyre, were among seven rangelands producers who travelled with OBE Organic to see their beef being sold in upmarket retailers and being served in high-end restaurants in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Grant said the visit in early April was a real eye-opener.

“This was the first time I’ve actually travelled overseas to see where the beef goes,” Grant said.

“It’s very interesting to see it presented on the shelf in very small chopstick-size portions or strips, not in steaks or big portions.

“We saw different supermarkets, ate our beef in restaurants, and spoke to people who buy our beef.

“When we’re at Cameron Corner we don’t really think about where the beast ends up, and when you see it in the market it gives you a whole new perspective.

“The trip was great, and I’d definitely recommend other producers to speak to OBE about going on an overseas market visit,” he said.

Sharon, who was also appointed to the OBE Organic Board in 2016, said the visit in early April underlined the importance of knowing the eating habits of target markets.

“This was my first visit to Tokyo and Hong Kong,” Sharon said. “I’ve heard about the small portion sizes they sell because beef is mainly used in hot-pots and stir-fries, but it’s not until you see the tiny sliced-up beef perfectly presented on the shelves that you understand what the market wants.

“We also got some good market insights. For example in a Hong Kong restaurant we were told customers are increasingly asking for OBE beef over Wagyu because it has more flavour, and in Japan the retailer told us the majority of people who bought our beef there were in their 50s or 60s.

“I’d definitely recommend any grazier to talk to OBE about going on a future market tour if you get the chance. It opens your eyes to different cultures, reminds you of the need to adapt to meet changing demand, and it’s really good to see your meat in the supermarket and people buying it.”

OBE Organic has previously taken producers on similar tours to Asia, the Middle East and the United States so they can see first hand, what consumer expectations are.

“We find producers always take a lot of pride in seeing their beef in upmarket supermarkets and glamourous restaurants. They learn a lot by interacting with customers, and they also see a side to the destination they never would as a regular tourist,” said OBE Organic General Manager Dalene Wray.

“Being a dynamic farmer-owned company, we are often able to take producers along on our regular overseas market visits. Producers interested in accompanying our sales team on a future trip are encouraged to contact OBE Organic.”

OBE Organic is actively seeking new suppliers to meet booming global demand for its product.

International market tours are one of the ways OBE Organic is working to improve the productivity of its producers.

Other initiatives unique to OBE Organic include developing improved slaughter data feedback loop to producers with the support of the MLA Donor Company, providing Grazing BMP workshops across western Queensland, partnering with Livestock Biosecurity Network to develop an organic biosecurity workbook, and partnering with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover to deliver monthly farm safety webinars and templates tailored for the beef industry.

For more information, please contact:
Dalene Wray 0439 224 968 dw***@ob********.net

About OBE Organic
OBE Organic is Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, established by a group of family farmers. It sources certified organic cattle from Queensland, NSW, and South Australia and works to maximise the profitability of producers. OBE Organic’s safe and nutritious organic grassfed beef is sold to rapidly growing markets in Australia, Asia, North America and the Middle East.

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