Organic Beef Producers Defy Price Slide by Keeping Their Cattle Natural

AUSTRALIA - Cattle farmers have set up Western Australia's first organic beef co-operative to tap into growing demand from health-conscious consumers.
calendar icon 27 November 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
While conventional beef producers contend with their lowest prices in years, organic farmers in the cooperative are commanding prices that are about 20 per cent higher.

The 15 producers, who run about 1500 head of cattle, are certified organic growers who cannot use chemicals, hormones or antibiotics in their beef production.

The fledgling Organic and Biodynamic Meat WA Co-op supplies almost 1000kg of beef a week to butchers in Perth, Rockingham and Bunbury and aims to expand its local market.

Coordinator Gail Perry said organic producers received about $5kg for their beef, compared with conventional, grain-fed yearling, which fetched $3.90kg to $4.20kg. But organic growers face higher production costs because they run fewer cattle per hectare and their animals’ growth rate can be slower because they are not fed as much grain.

Williams farmer William Newton-Wordsworth said organic production was originally based on a personal desire to grow eco-friendly, healthy food but more producers were moving into full-time commercial operation as demand rose.

Source: The West Australian
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.