Harvey Beef home on the rangelands

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
Kimberley and Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association chief executive Catherine Marriott, Minderoo Station manager Ben Wratten and Harvey Beef head of livestock Kim McDougall at the conference.
Camera IconKimberley and Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association chief executive Catherine Marriott, Minderoo Station manager Ben Wratten and Harvey Beef head of livestock Kim McDougall at the conference. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

Andrew Forrest’s Harvey Beef has announced a multimillion-dollar partnership with the Kimberley and Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association to produce the “Rangelands” beef brand.

The Minderoo-owned company made the announcement last week at the association’s annual field day and conference in Onslow.

Under the deal, hand-picked northern cattle producers will be required to adhere to strict animal welfare standards, as well as hormone and chemical-free status, to deliver an exclusive beef range of mince, sausages and burgers.

Harvey Beef head of livestock Kim McDougall told the gathering the brand would be available soon from WA supermarkets, with an eye on the burgeoning Asian markets.

“The company’s Kimberley and Pilbara cattle farmers work across some of the largest cattle farms in Australia,” he said. “We are pleased to be able to support their hard work and dedication, which allows us to build mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Minderoo head of investment John Hartman said the beef would come from cattle grown in the vast, open ranges of the Kimberley and Pilbara.

“The marketing appeal is that the product will be produced from cattle roaming the rangelands as nature intended and feast on the abundance of natural grasses,” he said.

“We know that customers are concerned about where their food comes from and through our partnership with KPCA we can offer a range which guarantees an exceptional standard of animal welfare.”

KPCA chief executive Catherine Marriott said the partnership would provide quality product to dinner tables throughout WA.

“KPCA has developed the specific animal welfare criteria which will give customers confidence in buying a product which not only tastes outstanding, but which has been sustainably raised,” she said.

New Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan applauded the partnership.

Ms MacTiernan has a track record of favouring the development of a locally based meat industry instead of relying on live exports.

“We can do better than being a cattleyard for other countries,” she said.

“There is great potential for the development of WA’s chilled and frozen beef market locally and overseas. The work Harvey Beef and others are doing in developing this market is critical and as the minister responsible for agriculture I will be wholeheartedly supporting those efforts.”

But former WA Livestock Exporter’s Association chairman John Edwards has criticised Ms MacTiernan’s preference for developing a local meat processing industry instead of live exports.

He said he was in support of Harvey Beef’s initiative to develop alternative marketing options for northern cattle producers, but questioned the new minister’s knowledge about the contribution the live export industry makes to the WA economy.

Mr Edwards said cattle prices and rangeland property values had been underpinned by live exports across the country.

“It should be noted that the Minderoo Group also supplies cattle to the live trade,” he said.

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