What we do
WHAT WE DO
Whole pasture-raised animals
We source whole, pasture-raised livestock directly from farms committed to genuinely sustainable soil, plant and animal health. The animals live all or the majority of their lives outside, ranging freely in family groups on sustainably-managed pastures.
The farmers practice regenerative agriculture and use various natural systems for achieving optimum soil fertility, including rotational grazing and fostering plant diversity. They don’t use chemical growth promotants, pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides or prophylactic antibiotics.
Certification and rare breeds
About 70% of the farms are certified bio-dynamic, organic or Humane Choice Free Range. Those that aren’t certified conform to organic principles and meet the requirements listed below. We give preference to farms growing heritage or rare breeds of livestock. Different breeds suit different climates, environments and palettes and we support the Slow Food Ark concept.
Process and dry ageing
The bodies arrive whole at our factory where we cut and pack to order. We’re committed to the traditional practice of dry ageing prime cuts (particularly beef) for up to seven weeks. We think the result is incomparable to meat that hasn’t been allowed to rest and settle in carefully controlled conditions.
Transparency and respect
We visit all the farms we work with to understand the unique characteristics and practices of each producer. Everything we sell is attributed so you can trace exactly where it comes from and every claim we make can be substantiated either by us, the producer or the certifying body.
We write regularly about the producers and issues affecting transparency in the food system and do our best to give our customers the information they need to make informed choices.
This is how we show our respect for the animal, the producer and you.
THE RULES WE FOLLOW
We do our best to offer as much information as we can about the production, treatment, transport and preparation of our produce.
- We started in 2006 with an aim of supplying exceptional produce sourced directly from producers throughout New South Wales, and occasionally beyond.
- We don’t buy from third parties and we guarantee the provenance of all produce sold under our name.
- We seek out, and give preference to, producers working with rare and endangered breeds of livestock, with specific attention to rare breeds of pigs, cattle, sheep and poultry.
- All animals sold by us have been raised predominantly outside, which doesn’t mean simply having ‘access’ to the sun, fresh air and water, but in a situation where the animal is substantially free to express instinctive behaviours.
- No product carried by us has been administered growth promotants at any point in its life. Antibiotics are used sparingly, if at all, and are not part of the routine diet of any animal we source.
- Similarly, with pasture management, chemical fertilisers are used sparingly and strong preference is given to producers utilising various natural systems for promoting plant diversity and improving soil health and fertility.
- We only source whole animals that arrive entire, neither boxed nor packed in plastic. Note that if the producer themselves also breaks and butchers their own produce we may then buy the parts they have for sale.
- We don’t carry the products of feed-lots. Occasionally it may be desirable or even necessary to use grain as part of a ruminant’s diet but no cow, sheep or goat sourced by us is the product of a continuous grain-fed regime.
- Every attempt is made by our producers to practice low stress stock handling throughout the growth cycle and at slaughter. Occasionally errant abattoir and/or transport practices can undermine the best practice of the producers and this will be reflected in the quality of the meat. We strive to minimise this through close liaison with transport and processing facilities.
- We dry-age our meat on the bone for between 1 and 8 weeks. For delivery purposes use is made of loose bags or vacuum packaging but extended storage in plastic is always avoided.
- We endeavour to make all the processes involved in the breeding, rearing, slaughter and delivery of our products as transparent as possible. Enquiries regarding any and all aspects of production are welcome as are visits to our production facility.
UNPACKING THE JARGON
These terms get bandied about a lot so this is what WE mean when we say...
Animals live in family groups on pastures in low enough densities to allow for the expression of instinctive behaviour - running, sun bathing, scratching, rooting, wallowing, jumping, herding and so on. ‘Free Range’ conjures up images of animals gambolling on pastures and that’s exactly what it should be. Real ‘Free Range’ doesn’t happen in a shed.
Note: ‘Bred Free Range’ is a pig that was born outside, weaned at three weeks and then transferred to a shed in which only pigs of the same age live.
As soon as it was old enough to cope (or in some cases from birth), the animal has lived its life outside on pasture and not in sheds. This doesn’t mean having ‘access’ to pasture but actually eating, playing, grazing and often sleeping and birthing outside with access to adequate shelter to be used as required.
‘Pasture’ is what it means - extensive areas of grass and vegetation fit for grazing. Usually, animals are regularly rotated onto fresh pasture to allow soil and land regeneration and give animals regular access to fresh green pick.
Grass-fed and Grass-finished
The ruminant grazes freely on pasture throughout it’s life and is not the product of a feedlot/grain feeding regime. Grains, sprouted grains or silage are only used when there is insufficient fresh pasture available.
Note: Oddly, the MLA insists that domestic cattle are labelled ‘Grass Fed’ even if they have been finished in a feed lot on grain. The maximum time they are permitted to be on grain is 60 days for heifers and 70 for steers.
The farm operatew without the props of artificial herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers and hormone growth promotant. The farm is managed using practices designed to build and reinforce independent soil health, vitality and water carrying capacity with as few inputs as possible, thereby nurturing resilience and breaking dependency on expensive chemical treatments.
The farmers carry sustainable stocking densities that are responsive to season and low enough to allow proper animal welfare and for soil and pastures to remain healthy without the use of artificial inputs.
This word worries us as we feel it’s entirely subjective and open to manipulation. What is ethical for us may not be ethical for you and who are we to tell you what to think?
We’d rather leave the moral highground to the facts about food production and let them do the talking.
They’re much more persuasive than we are.