Major beef processor Teys Australia hopes to capitalise on its Naracoorte abattoir’s location on the doorstep of the world-renowned Coonawarra wine region with the launch of a beef brand.
Earlier this week it launched its new flagship brand, 36 degrees south, which aims to pair its highest eating quality beef with some of the region’s top drops.
This will include forming closer relationships with some of its key suppliers of both beef and wine.
Some of Teys’ key producers enjoyed a sumptuous five-course degustation dinner at Pipers of Penola restaurant on Tuesday night to mark the occasion.
A launch was also held at Seans Kitchen in Adelaide for about 30 chefs on Monday.
It comes just after the company announced $30 million expansion plans to the plant it has owned for nearly 20 years.
Teys Australia is aiming to lift its daily throughput from 650 head a day to 805 head within the next year, following planned upgrades in the boning room and extra chiller space.
It says it is confident in the investment, which will create an extra 100 jobs, based on the enormous potential of the new beef brand, both in Australia and overseas.
Taking its name from Naracoorte’s latitude reference, 36 degrees south will include hormone growth promotant-free cattle sourced from across the South East and western Vic.
There will be both grain fed and free range categories, enabling year-round continuity of supply.
Teys marketing general manager Mark Ellison says the brand will be produced to order rather than mass marketed while producers would be the “heroes” of the brand.
“Consumers are fascinated by the origins of their produce and this brand has a great regional story to tell,” he said.
“I believe local businesses are also really proud we have a brand that can be paired with SA’s finest beef and wine.”
Mr Ellison said the 36 degrees south brand had received a great response from early testing carried out with 500 consumers in China and 250 in Australia.
“Wine in China is going absolutely off the charts so we are looking to do some retail brand launches pairing it with Australian wines,” he said.
Mr Ellison said the “Naracoorte team” had taken enormous pride in the brand and were really owning it, which would contribute to its success.
Teys’ Naracoorte livestock manager David Woolard sees it was a great opportunity to showcase the outstanding beef produced from the local area and SA as a whole.
“We could have different orders for different weight range cattle come through – it is not breed specific,” he said.
“It will be sourced from our highest Meat Standards Australia eating quality product and, because we have full traceback on all our cattle, it could come from any one of our programs.”
Mr Woolard said the brand was “still evolving” but if it generated the strong demand expected, this would flow through in returns to producers.
Processor pairs with wine labels
AVENUE Range beef producer Morris Oliver is excited about the new 36 degrees south brand, hoping it can put the region’s top quality beef “on the map”.
“They are targeting it to a worldwide market and right in the top end, so if we can trace it back to our region all the better,” he said.
“Especially in a year like this is it is highlighting just what we can do with our cattle with reliable rainfall.”
Mr Oliver and wife Michele are among Teys Australia’s long-time suppliers targeting the European Union and Meat Standards Australia markets and Grasslands brand, aiming to turn off 550-650 kilogram cattle.
He is also a partner in Oliver’s Taranga Wines at McLaren Vale, with his brother Don and nieces Corrina Wright and Brioni Oliver, and sees enormous potential to pair their wine with their beef at functions at their cellar door.
Naracoorte Lucindale Council mayor Erika Vickey says the new brand and the abattoir’s $30 million expansion is fantastic for the region, giving the local community confidence to invest in the future.
“We hope to attract families as well as single people in the extra workers, which will be a major boost to the regional economy and hopefully it give people the confidence to invest in building homes for them,” she said.
Mrs Vickery said the brand, which included the name Naracoorte in much of its promotion, would also be a great marketing tool for local tourism both in Australia and overseas.