- To ensure our future and survival as lamb producers. To achieve this the following action was considered necessary:
- To obtain feedback to ensure that we were providing a desirable product, to stabilise the seasonal fluctuation in prices for our products, to be paid a quality price for a quality product, cost plus profit.
The readiness of farmers to change and work together has surprised many within the group and plenty from outside.
Results to date have included:
The farmers have actively supported and generally been extremely committed to the group and the concepts. Working together has ensured large packages of lambs enabling us to negotiate prices and cheaper transport. We market 45,000 to 75,000 prime lambs annually and specialise in trading lambs over the hook to produce lambs to meet both domestic and export market specifications.
Lambs are primarily coming from the areas surrounding Gulargambone/Tooraweenah, the Tullamore and Dubbo areas and stretching as far as Condobolin, Nyngan and north to Gunnedah and reaching to northern NSW and southern Qld.
Feedback has shown that we need to breed larger and leaner lambs and farming practices have changed accordingly. Weights of lambs have been increased some 4kg (dressed) on average, leaner genetics are being acquired and production field days, together with a close relationship with processors, has ensured increased knowledge of our product. We appreciate that we have exporters who need to operate year round and production has been changed to enable the group to supply every month. This is the first and only group operating in Australia that is owned and operated by the producers.
Quality is of paramount importance and is our advantage over the general markets. This guarantees an exact product for individual markets. The following have been implemented:
- Every lamb is individually weighed and fat scored
- A Quality Assurance program is in place for health
- A Quality Assurance program is in place for handling/transport of stock
- Our QA programs are based on the MLA Meat Standards Australia program of which most of our producers are members
Whilst we have achieved most of our short term aims we still face plenty of challenges including:
- further efficiencies in production to increase profit
- a reduction in fat to increase profit
- diversity of our markets (processors and weights)
We pride ourselves in our record :
we keep a history on every lamb with comparisons to paddock assessment and abattoir assessment. Our aim is 95% at minimum in spec. Some individual loads or even months may not achieve this aim however annual comparisons demonstrate 96% within specification.
Forward contracts guaranteed – We guarantee to deliver contracted lambs no matter what is happening in the physical market in relation to prices and weather conditions.
Non seasonal lambs – we understand Processors need lambs for 12 months of the year not just 3 or 4. Over our history we have supplied lambs every month of the year, every year, to meet our Customer’s demands.
Product control – we don’t just use the National Vendor Dec. we have further Q.A. guidelines and control our stock through breeding, feeding, handling and including transport. Even when we do not breed the lambs they are purchased from known Vendors with a double declaration supplied, from the Breeder as well as the Finisher.
Continuing development – We have developed a statistical data base containing all information on loads sent over the past ten years. We can supply you with exact weights/fat scores, averages etc of individual loads, months and years supply.
Industry development – we continue to work with others in the industry to ensure we are up to date with latest developments in stock husbandry and health to ensure our product is the best available.