More than 400 lamb and beef stakeholders engaged in JBS Australia’s Great Southern farm-assured supply chain program came along for a supply chain forum and supplier awards dinner in Melbourne on Friday.
The gathering drew committed lamb and beef suppliers from across the Great Southern program’s mainland catchment area extending from Central NSW across Victoria, and into eastern regions of South Australia. Tasmanian suppliers held their own supply chain dinner towards the end of last year.
Here’s a quick snapshot of thoughts on the JBS Great Southern program, from a sample of producers in attendance:
Good to see a grassfed premium paid
TDC Penola director Darren Maney said it was fantastic to see a premium being paid for grass fed product as in the Great Southern Farm Assurance programs.
“For years we have been running second fiddle to lot feeders and Australia if has one big asset, is being able finish cattle and lambs on grass, so it is nice to see them attracting a premium.
Mr Maney said the programs have given lamb and beef producers another marketing option.
“For the producers that like doing the end job properly this program suits them down to the ground.”
Producers doing the right thing by consumers
Graham Sudholz at Kotupna near JBS Cobram plant has been supplying lambs from his self-replacing terminal composite flock under the Great Southern Farm Assurance program for the past four years.
“They are a company that looks at lean meat yield and high quality lamb.
“We have for the last 15 years tried to produce a good product and there are premiums for people that produce the right sort of product,” he said.
“They are very professional, the buyers are good, they get back to you. they are a progressive company.”
Mr Sudholz said the requirements of the farm assurance program included actions farmers needed to be doing so that consumers understood “we are doing everything we should be doing”.
”It is great for consumers.”
He said the JBS program had a very good weight range and he had worked with the company on its eating quality research. Some of his lambs have gained over 360gms a day from birth till slaughter in trials.
“The whole thing of breeding, growth rates, pasture production and then a market out the other end all go together and it’s just a balance to get it right.”
Quality assurance with traceability
Leon Schwarz of Caramut said he had been supplying JBS with lambs for about three years.
“Quality assurance with traceback is the way everything is going,” he said.
He said the JBS program provided more feedback from the over-the-hooks consignments than other selling options.
“The good thing I like about is that we can sell a lot of lambs off quickly at that peak time, when they are ready to go at a guaranteed price.”
Click on the gallery images below to access social photos from Friday night’s Great Southern Supplier of the Year dinner.