BUSINESS is booming more than 12 months after the Organic Meat Company (a subsidiary of Sanger Australia) and Cleavers joined forces as Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Company.
Joint CEOs of Australia’s largest organic beef and lamb company, Alister Ferguson and Ken Taylor, are proud to be part of a formation which, they say, combines the best resources of both organisations, resulting in a win for both producers and consumers.
“The formation of the new company, Arcadian, has been fairly seamless, and I think both parties brought a fair bit to the table which we’ve all been able to benefit from,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The formation of the respective businesses has enabled better carcase utilisation and product innovation to better service our valued suppliers and customers with a greater range of organic products.”
Mr Ferguson said both companies have enjoyed phenomenal growth since starting operations, with the Organic Meat Company exporting to nine countries.
The US rates as its single biggest market and holds more potential for additional growth.
“The demand for organic product continues to outstrip our supply, which is very positive for the industry,” he said.
Mr Ferguson said he was seeing solid growth throughout the domestic market, as well as new emerging markets in China and the Middle East for frozen and chilled product.
Mr Ferguson quotes growth in the organic sector worldwide consistently at 20 per cent a year, a key driver that has led to the Organic Meat Company and Cleavers joining forces.
Mr Ferguson said the company currently had 42 beef producers on its books, representing a combined 90,000 to 100,000 head of cattle in the group, mainly from Central and West Queensland.
Cattle were mainly processed at Stanbroke’s Grantham plant in Queensland, with Bindaree at Inverell, NSW, a secondary option.
“There aren’t too many markets in the world showing the level of growth as organic,” he said.
“This growth is also reflected in the businesses of our suppliers, who are also showing similar patterns of growth and expansion.
“The beauty of the organic market is that the demand is ready and waiting – it’s really dictated by how much we can supply.
“If we can supply more, while maintaining quality, consistency and reliability as a supplier and keeping costs down, then demand should continue to strengthen, based on current trends.”
ARCADIAN works with their producers to maintain a pricing structure, stabilising profitability, the company’s Alister Ferguson says.
“We don’t want our market going up and down and our main business is into retail, so a 12-month pricing structure suits both our producers and customers,” he said.
Mr Ferguson said the market was currently receiving a 40 per cent premium on conventional product.
“We make a point of trying to market all categories of cattle so, if our producers have trade cattle, we can move them and no cattle get lost out of the system without organic premium attached to them.”
Mr Ferguson said Arcadian had a mentoring program for producers who had an interest in organic production but needed more information to make the transition and adjust their management.
“The guys who are in the organic program are doing very well, consistently producing products that the world is eager to buy,” he said.
“There aren’t too many beef-producing regions in Australia without certified organic programs in place, so often the adjustments producers need to make aren't difficult or complicated.
“They just need a little guidance and fine-tuning to meet the certified standards and that’s where we can help.”