Menu
News

Beef exports to target 'middle of the road' customers

EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES: Spinifex Beef Ian Bradford doing what he loves to do in his down time , supplying the stock for bronc competitions at the Noonamah rodeos.
EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES: Spinifex Beef Ian Bradford doing what he loves to do in his down time , supplying the stock for bronc competitions at the Noonamah rodeos. Mark Wilton

WHILE the hunger for Australian beef continues to ramp up in China, one fledgling Territory based company is hoping to capitalise on that demand.

However, unlike many companies around the country who are trying to move their high-end, premium products into the Chinese market, Spinifex Beef has firmly targeted the "middle of the road" Chinese customer.

Spinifex Chief Executive Officer Ian Bradford told Rural Weekly the company's grand plan was simple.

"We are targeting the Chinese family who buy a 500-gram piece of meat and take it home and boil it in a pot," Mr Bradford said.

"We want to process it, pre-package it, ship it and get it put straight on to supermarket shelves."

Spinifex has agreements in place with the 3 Mark Group based in China.

That company, which has strong Australian links and already exports products such as seafood and chicken into Asian markets.

Mr Bradford said the agreements give Spinifex a potentially huge market.

"The amount of beef they have indicated they will take from us is massive.

"It would be a while before we could go anywhere near meeting that demand, but they are happy to take whatever we can supply."

Unlike many businesses in the supply chain Spinifex the business model requires low overheads for the traditionally costly beef sector.

The company source beef from producers, primarily from Queensland, and then process it, package it and then ship it direct to china in chilled containers.

Spinifex therefore do not own any stock or infrastructure required to process the beef.

However, while that model makes good financial sense, it has its limitations according to Mr Bradford.

"With the high prices that beef has been reaching there isn't much stock around for us to process.

"And because there are only a limited number of processing plants around the country that will process on a contract basis we have so far been limited to where we can source our beef from because the costs to ship it from all over the country to be processed are prohibitive."

That is one of the main reasons Territory beef has so far been off the Spinifex menu for their foray into China.

"Territory cattle produces the type of meat that is ideal for our business model.

"But because we would currently have to ship it to Warwick in Queensland to have it processed we haven't sourced any from the NT yet."

That could all change if an agreement could be struck with AACo and its processing plant at Livingstone near Darwin.

Topics:  beef farming john dee northern territory queensland warwick


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.