Harvey Beef bullish on future

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest is planning to build WA's beef sector into an industry "powerhouse".

Mr Forrest made the comments at a the launch of Harvey Beef's updated branding and website last week.

The move represents some of the more visible changes to what has been a steady overhaul of Harvey Beef since it was acquired by the Minderoo Group, owned by Andrew and Nicola Forrest.

At the launch Mr Forrest spoke about his excitement about the future of not only Harvey Beef, but the WA beef and greater agricultural industry in the State.

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"History is interesting, but the future is much more exciting," said Mr Forrest, who grew up on Minderoo, his family station near Onslow.

"I have a lifelong commitment to the WA beef industry and, together with Harvey Beef, we are looking to build the industry into the powerhouse we know it can be."

Mr Forrest said his company foresaw a boom in agriculture, similar to mining 15 years ago.

"We are on the cusp of a great Australian agricultural revolution and the recent free trade agreement with China will help open up new markets for high-quality Australian produce," he said.

Harvey Beef general manager Wayne Shaw said he was excited by the progress but hinted at more to come from WA's largest cattle processing facility.

"We're working hard to improve our current partnerships and build new supplier relationships," he said. "There's great potential for expansion down at Harvey."

Key cattle supplier for Harvey Beef, Ivan Rogers, said the key traits of his finished cattle were that they were within specification for weight, fat cover, age and that the processed product exhibited tenderness and juiciness.

Ivan and Jill Rogers built their Tammin feedlot, Kylagh, from humble beginnings of about 500 head capacity 17 years ago to the current one of 4000 head.

"It is important to concentrate on all aspects of feedlot operations from cattle health and welfare through to feed and pen management so that we achieve the desired outcome in terms of cattle well being and product specification," Mr Rogers said.

Kylagh supplies Harvey Beef with the Coles Finest 100 day Angus Steer product in addition to being an approved supplier of 100-day grain fed mixed sex product within the Taurindi Beef alliance. Both product lines are underpinned by the National Feedlot Assurance Scheme (NFAS) and are HGP-free

Mr Rogers said the commitment Mr Forrest has made to the WA beef industry could facilitate more economic and sustainable models of supply.

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