Killara Feedlot, located in the premium agricultural region of the Liverpool Plains in NSW, is one of the oldest and most well-known feedlots in Australia, dating back to the 1970’s. Killara was built and developed by Japanese meat company, Mitsubishi in the 1970’s.
In 1996 Elders purchased Killara in a joint venture with Taiwanese Sugar Corporation and remained in this partnership until 2009, when Elders secured the full ownership and management of Killara.
As it stands today, Killara is a fully shaded feedlot with a 20,000 head capacity, turning over more than 60,000 cattle annually. A sophisticated steam flake milling complex produces close to 300 tonnes of feed per day.
Killara Feedlot has a long and valued history with the Angus breed. In the 1980’s Killara produced the well know Angus brand for the export market, the ‘Angus Black Bag’, which was processed at Macksville.
Thirty years on Killara’s affair with the Angus breed continues, feeding more than 30,000 grainfed Angus steers annually for its own Elders Killara Angus brand. Killara also feeds Angus steers for Warmoll Foods, Jack’s Creek Angus brand. This product is distributed throughout Australia and the world with key markets in the Middle East, European Union, United Kingdom, China, Japan and Indonesia.
Killara Feedlot have also been supplying cattle to Woolworths since 1996 and was a previous winner of the Woolworths Supplier of the Year Award.
“Our close association with Woolworths and their management goes back a long way. Today we feed a slightly heavier animal for Woolworths with an increasing number of Angus cattle,” says Feedlot Manager, Tony Fitzgerald.
The biggest change for Killara Feedlot over the last 10 years has been the type of cattle on feed.
“We’ve transformed Killara from just a producer of commodity beef to a supplier of premium grainfed Angus beef,” say Tony.
Killara has taken time to develop supply chain linkages, and are lucky to have a professional and market focused group of suppliers from across New South Wales.
Most of their cattle are sourced from within 700km of the feedlot, with key supplier strategies focusing on repeat business, large lines, good genetics and the pre-conditioning of cattle ready for feedlot conditions.
“We produce a premium product and this starts with buying the right cattle for the feedlot,” says Trading Manager, Andrew Talbot.
Killara Feedlot purchases more than 1200 cattle every week in a highly competitive market space.
There has been a clear transformation in the cattle type that Killara Feedlot is purchasing and this has not come about by chance. Killara Feedlot are working with key suppliers to ensure cattle are pre-conditioned correctly for feedlot entry.
“Preconditioning is about ensuring the cattle are socialised, quiet, well-handled and pre-vaccinated with Bovilis + IBR,” says Andrew.
“We work with key suppliers to develop a transparent understanding of the beef supply chain. The more feedback and information flow we provide to our supplier stakeholders, the more chance there is for further advancement,” he said.
“Genetics are important but having these good cattle perform on feed, that’s critical!” says Andrew.
In 2016 Killara Feedlot held its inaugural Supplier Awards. These awards recognise suppliers who are pushing the boundaries to produce the best feedlot animal, with the criteria focusing on performance through marbling, average daily gain, feed conversion and animal health in the feedlot.
These traits are benchmarked through Killara’s extensive database of animal health and performance and continue to be the most valuable selection traits when procuring cattle.
With grain feeding of cattle being increasingly important in the production of beef, Killara sees a responsibility to ensure quality cattle and clean healthy product is produced and delivered every week to a standard customers expect.
To find out more about feeder cattle procurement at Killara Feedlot contact Andrew Talbot, Trading Manager on 0408 253786 or Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org