JBS Australia’s transition from commodity beef processor to branded beef marketer has taken another step in the right direction, with the global producer taking home ten of the 15 medals in the beef categories at the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show Branded Beef awards held in Brisbane last week.
Steve Groom, the company’s Livestock Manager – Northern, said everyone involved in the branded programs should be proud of the medal haul.
“As the largest processor of beef in Australia, we can’t afford to get anything wrong,” Mr Groom said.
“Of course our livestock procurement, feedlotting, processing, sales, marketing and logistics teams should be proud of these achievements, but we could not have achieved these results without the exceptional efforts of our livestock producers across the country.”
Mr Groom said his livestock buyers maintained ‘farm gate’ relationships with cattle producers to source the most suitable livestock to fit into the company’s brand programs.
“We see this as a partnership. We share information with our suppliers so they maximise their revenue by aligning with our brands.
“If it wasn’t for the farmers, our feedlots and abattoirs would be a large set of empty cattle yards and sheds.”
JBS’s Riverina Angus brand was the big winner, taking gold in the Grain Fed class and winning Champion MSA Graded Beef of Show – outscoring the winner of one of the Wagyu classes in the process.
JBS Australia’s Commercial Manager, Brendan Tatt, said the success of the Riverina Angus brand validated the feedback the company is receiving from domestic and export markets that are currently sourcing the well-marbled beef brand.
“Since its launch in 2012, Riverina Angus has positioned itself as one of, if not, the leading Australian Angus brands,” he said.
“Throughout Asia and the Middle East, and equally importantly on the domestic market, it continues to be one of our best performing brands,” Mr Tatt said.
The recently launched Thousand Guineas Shorthorn Beef was also a big winner, taking the bronze medal in the same class.
“We developed the Thousand Guineas Shorthorn Beef brand in conjunction with the two leading Shorthorn cattle societies and some of our key end users,” Mr Groom said.
“We had lots of chefs explaining to us that while they enjoyed the consistency and eating quality of Angus beef, they wanted to try something different that had a strong story and unique brand,” Mr Tatt added.
“The Shorthorn societies were critical in establishing the brand and are major partners in the growth and success of Thousand Guineas Shorthorn Beef.
“Chefs continue to tell us that the brand is strong and has an easy story to tell while also backing up with a superb eating quality.”
The Thousand Guineas brand story references the sale of a bull, Comet, in 1810 at the Brafferton sale for a world-record breaking 1,000 guineas that would go on to form the foundation of the Shorthorn breed.
JBS Australia also claimed first, second and third in the Grass Fed class, two Wagyu medals through their subsidiary company Andrews Meat Industries, and two of the three medals in the Open Class.
“We are committed to being an international leader in the sourcing, production and distribution of premium Australian beef products. Gone are the days where we could take any beast, pack him into a box, and ship it off thinking we were doing our best,” Mr Tatt said.
To maximise their success in branded beef marketing, JBS has placed in-market specialists in Japan, Korea, the Middle East, the US, Europe and China to better service their customers and also to relay critical market information.
They have also recently appointed a domestic-focused Business Development Manager who forms downstream relationships with restaurants and help them access the large JBS brand portfolio through their preferred distributor.
“We will continue to evolve our business and brand programs to strategically align the supply capabilities of Australia with consumer demand around the world,” Mr Tatt said.
This commitment to continued evolution and adaptation was demonstrated earlier this year with the company’s launch of Acres Organic Beef.
“We could see the emergence of the organic beef market and recognized the rapid growth of the supply base to support a program on our scale.
“We will continue to forge strategically beneficial relationships and establish demand driven beef brands that best position us to return maximum value to the producers to help ensure the farming community remains economically sustainable well into the future.”
Mr Groom added his team was always looking to expand upon their supply network in order to support the growth of the branded beef business and encouraged producers to contact their nearest JBS buyer in order to find out more about the company’s brand programs.