A new WA-based beef supplier is set to be launched to focus on the world’s premium markets based near Dandaragan.
Carpenter Beef has sold the iconic Joanna Plains property to new company Central Agri Group, which was has only recently been incorporated.
Central Agri is backed by Esperance-based export lamb and beef abattoir Shark Lake Food Group and Australia’s biggest Angus beef seedstock producer, Lawsons Angus.
The announcement comes after years of speculation regarding the future of the 8700ha farm near Cataby, where construction of a large-scale abattoir ground to a halt in 2007 in the wake of the collapse of owner Ric Stowe’s empire.
In a bizarre twist of events it was rumoured earlier this year that Malaysian investors had joined forces with the embattled former owner to finish building the abattoir.
With Central Agri’s multimillion cash injection, the property will boast a 400-head-a-day European standard abattoir, feedlots and prime grazing land that will be a genetics driven “jewel in the crown” of the group, using the facilities to employ American breeding principles to inject extra value for their supply chain stakeholders.
Plans are also under way to incorporate a world-leading research centre and Angus bull unit to offer partner breeders sophisticated genetic information on potential sires.
It is an attractive time in the beef economic cycle, with world prices continuing to boom.
Carpenter Beef general manager John Berkfield will head up the new group, which will be a one-stop-shop for the supply of Angus and Wagyu brands into global markets.
The combination of an integrated seed stock and breeding company will secure supply for the new company’s export programs.
The Joanna Plains farm will continue to be used as a custom feed-lot for northern producers as well as a facility for finishing cattle to be slaughtered at Shark Lake.
A 10,000 head backgrounding facility on the farm will be expanded to include the research centre and bull unit and complete the partially built abattoir by early next year.
“Lawsons Angus has been our major genetics supplier for twenty years so it really isn’t a major change to our strategy,” Mr Berkfield said.
“Our integration into Central Agri Group will enable us to expand the business significantly and better serve Lawsons Angus customers in WA and on the East coast.
“This is a great result for Carpenter Beef and agriculture in general because our Japanese customers are looking to increase the volume of high quality grain-fed Angus.”
Mr Berkfield said the new company was formed to secure a supply of cattle with the right genetics to fit that market.
“For a long time our company has recognised the value of Lawsons Angus genetics and the consistency in producing a high quality product for our Japanese customers who want to open the box and find the same eating quality every time,” he said.
“This is only possible with a long term disciplined approach to every part of the supply chain starting with the genetics.”
compliments of Rueben Hale of the online west australian