Clean and green not enough, rangeland conference speaker claims

Organic beef champion to discuss markets at rangelands conference

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Clean, green and organic are all selling points graziers in Australia's rangelands can proudly use, but one of Australia's most successful organic beef exporters says it's not enough when establishing a business in the region.

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OBE Beef managing director Dalene Wray is one of the guest speakers at the national conference being held in Longreach in October.

OBE Beef managing director Dalene Wray is one of the guest speakers at the national conference being held in Longreach in October.

Clean, green and organic are all selling points graziers in Australia's rangelands can proudly use, but one of Australia's most successful organic beef exporters says it's not enough when establishing a business in the region.

OBE Beef managing director Dalene Wray will headline the Australian Rangeland Society and Desert Channels Queensland 'NRM in the Rangelands Conference - shaping our future 2021' on October 5-8 in Longreach.

The veteran beef exporter and child of the Channel Country will share with conference-goers how OBE Beef is future-proofing itself from unpredictable market access through diversity and by being entirely customer-focused.

"Graziers are enjoying great profits because we have enviable export market access to important beef consuming nations around the world, but what happens if those markets close overnight," she said.

"It has happened and could happen again. We would need to pivot very quickly.

"Graziers need to ensure that they have a mix of tools in their virtual toolbox so they can meet the requirements of discerning customers of the future."

Read more: Rangeland resilience in spotlight at national conference

OBE Beef is a grazier-owned business with a head office in Brisbane that exports organic beef to the Middle East, North America and Asia as well as the domestic market.

While their markets are many and varied, so are their customers.

Ms Wray said they didn't use alcohol in any of their advertising in consideration of the cultural preferences of many of their customers.

While North American customers are most interested in the grassfed nature of OBE's beef and how they manage animal welfare, Japanese customers care for the organic status of the product.

Ms Wray will share with conference attendees how they use their rangelands location, the 'pure heart of Australia', to market their meat and how they are securing a social licence to keep operating 20 to 30 years into the future by focusing on and investing in behavioural science, to deliver on best animal welfare practices.

She will also explain how their Reconciliation Action Plan, first developed in 2017, was the key to saving a million-dollar US account.

"It matters to us that OBE proudly embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as integral to our national identity and many times, it matters to our customers too," she explained.

Conference tickets to hear Ms Wray and other speakers are available from the DCQ website.

Also read: Canada hears about clusters at international rangelands congress

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