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CAAB in the box seat

CAAB in the box seat

Angus beef has become to Australians what Wagyu is to the Japanese; a symbol of premium beef.

In the past five years, sales of Certified Australian Angus Beef (CAAB) have grown exponentially.

In 2010, about 130,000 head of Angus cattle were processed into the grain-fed brand.

CAAB chief executive officer Phil Morley said the company CAAB chief executive officer Phil Morley said the company grew from humble beginnings, with only 16 head in 1996, to cement itself as a premium-quality brand with many food industry awards and brand recognition among customers.

Mr Morley said the number of cattle sold into the CAAB program had increased dramatically, as had the proportion of carcases being marketed under the brand.

Angus cattle were highly sought-after by processors demanding the best possible price.
With about half of Australia’s beef still sold as a generic commodity, Mr Morley said there was potential for the growth of branded beef.

He said the company would refocus its marketing on both overseas and Australian consumers in 2011 and hoped it would have a drag-through effect on sales.

There are three licensed processors of CAAB across Australia – Cargill Beef, T and R Pastoral and Stockyard Beef – with T and R Pastoral at Murray Bridge in South Australia the sole licensed processor of the Angus Pure grass-fed, pasture raised brand launched in November 2009.

Mr Morley said the company also undertook Angus breed verification at five other meat processing plants, all of which had one or more Angus brands.

This process includes cross-checking national vendor declarations and saleyard summaries or declarations of livestock buyers to ensure it is “Angus beef in the box” but, unlike its CAAB product, there are no quality standards to be met.

“There is quite a number of Angus brands in the marketplace now, mostly in the whole-sale sector, and Angus has almost become a product description” Mr Morley said.

“There are high-quality Angus and (there are) Angus cattle which are not as high in quality but it is like the large range (within any make of) car – consumers will work through it and realise that there are varying qualities within the Angus products on offer. “That’s where branding comes in.”

Excerpts taken from Stock & Land 10/02/11


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