Browsing our best beef

At Andrew Kay’s Togari farm on Tuesday as part of Cattle Council of Australia’s Rural Awareness Tour are Paul Saward, Luke Osborne, Warren King, Kate Brinkley, Duane Roberts, Bill Schumann, Caroline Gunning-Trant, John Kay, Tertia Dippenaar, Annabel Johnson and Debbie Frater. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Industry. A group of key stakeholders involved in Australia’s beef industry have been given an extensive tour of Circular Head’s paddock-to-plate operations this week.

Facilitated by the Cattle Council of Australia, the annual Rural Awareness Tour arrived in Smithton on Tuesday with a number of government officials and industry professionals visiting Greenham Tasmania before exploring a number of local farms.

With the event returning to the region for the first time in 15 years, CCA board member and Redpa farmer Paul Saward said he hoped to give visitors “a snapshot of the beef industry” in our region.

“Percentage-wise, the highest number of cattle graded when you look at the index, we’re right at the top,” he said of local produce on Meat Standards Australia grading systems.

“[This] gives insight into various issues in the beef industry. You can come out and actually talk to producers and the issues affecting them.”

The group – including many members from Canberra – headed west on Tuesday to view properties at Togari, Redpa and Green Point, departing on Wednesday via Stanley with Launceston and Hobart on the radar over the next few days.

With previous locations visited including south-west Western Australia and Queensland, CCA’s website says more than 130 ‘senior decision-makers’ have participated since the first RAT in 1991.

CCA’s mission is ‘to represent and progress the interests of Australian beef cattle producers’ through national and state policies, with Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association one of eight member organisations across the country.

Having begun the Tasmanian trip in King Island on Monday, tour coordinator Annabel Johnson said relationship building was a key part of the initiative, adding she was impressed with the variety and consistency of products viewed so far.

“It’s been absolutely incredible,” she said of north-west Tasmania’s operations. “It’s really being marketed to the world as Australia’s food bowl – eating quality has been the focus.

“Australia as a whole needs to learn to get some things in a niche market. We’ve really got to be getting the highest value from our product.”

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