Report Synopsis

Marketing Northern Australian Grass-fed Beef. Utilising and adapting current practices to meet consumer demand

Fred Appleton

The objective of this study was to investigate the attributes beef consumers were looking for and identify how the industry can utilise current production methods to meet the current and future consumer demands. On a world setting, grass-fed beef industry of northern Australia is extremely unique in that a large portion of the grazing land still remains in its natural state, virtually untouched.

The study found that consumers, who seem to no longer have a farming or rural association, are wanting to reconnect to where their food comes from, and understand how it is produced, with the main attributes they look for being:

  1. Origin and traceability.
  2. Organics.
  3. Animal welfare.
  4. Environmental sustainability.
  5. Meat quality.

This report highlights the significance the northern grass-fed beef industry plays in the Australia beef market, as it hosts more than 55% of Australia’s national beef herd at around 13.9 million head (ABS, 2017; Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd, 2017).

As a major part of the Australian beef sector, the northern grass-fed industry needs to continue to meet consumer demands. In many instances this can be done relatively easily as the beef production in the natural and largely unspoiled environment, means that converting to organic accreditations, and utilising MSA grading systems, should be a relatively easy.

The industry should further utilise the MSA grading system and continue to introduce British and European breeds for better meat quality. It should also move toward polled genetics to increase animal welfare standards through a reduction in dehorning.

It is also strongly recommended that the industry focus on highlighting the simple production system and way of life in northern Australia to connect with consumers

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