Lamb Processing

Come to Adelaide to learn how to start your branded lamb or beef product

Sheep Central, May 30, 2017

Savannah Farm’s Michele and Phil Lally.

LAMB and beef producers keen to develop branded meat products and establish their own micro-abattoirs will be shown how it can be done at an Adelaide conference next week.

Prize-winning South Australian lamb producers Phil and Michele Lally recently dispersed their flock to focus on a new venture – providing on-farm micro-abattoir units to like-minded farmers.

The couple is manufacturing customised micro-abattoir units after receiving funding through the South Australian Primary Industries Advanced Food Manufacturers grant.

Michele will share insights into the project, as well as the background to Savannah Farm’s operations, at the Farming Together forum in Adelaide on June 6.

The husband-and-wife team developing the service say there is an appetite among farmers hoping to collaborate to establish regional micro-abattoirs.

Their micro-abattoir service business is an extension of the ‘stress-free’ animal husbandry philosophy that led to the Lally’s Savannah Lamb brand score multiple state and national awards in recent years. The couple’s commitment to land stewardship also earned them numerous sustainability awards and they have been officially recognised as visionary leaders by the meat industry.

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Michele Lally said the new initiative is a response to demand from other livestock farmers keen to develop their own branded meat products, but who are unable to secure space at local abattoirs, which can sometimes be up to four hours’ drive away.

“From operating our own, micro-abattoir, we have identified three groups who have so far show some interest in the plug-and-play-type design.

“The small-scale farmers looking to process small consignments at an existing facility, remote communities hoping to secure affordable local meat for their region rather than relying on high-cost low-quality meat deliveries, and, lastly, groups of farmers looking to collaborate to install a regional micro-abattoir so they can own their supply chain with more confidence.”

The Farming Together project has been helping farmers across the country form into groups to gain marketplace strength. Some are seeking ways to work more closely with their value chains for productivity and profitability gains.

Farming Together project director Lorraine Gordon said the Savannah Farm story represents the best of flexible thinking in agriculture.

“We look to their examples to learn how farming models can meet emerging social licence requirements,” she said.

Ethical chemical-free ecological practices work

Since 2006, fifth-generation farmers Phil and Michele have transitioned the family farm in the Clare Valley to a chemical-free, ecological and ethically-focused enterprise.

“We noticed a huge difference between the growth rate and happiness of stock that had been treated respectfully,” Michele said.

“It started a whole new philosophy around stress-free stock handling in 2009,” she said.

“Stress-free animals produce the best meat because of the low acid levels in their muscles at the time of processing.”

Farmers from across Australia are expected to hear Michele and other mind-expanding speakers at the Farming Together forum. They will be hearing from farmers who have used the program to form or expand co-operatives and collaborations as well as experts, such as Michele, offering practical ‘how-to’ advice.

Farmer registrations for the Adelaide conference are open at The event is no-cost thanks to support from the Australian Government.

Farming Together is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.

Farming Together is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government. It comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.



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