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New brand hits niche

BRAND BUILDING: Shane and Nina Selleck are building a name for their premium quality grain-fed beef under their Barossa Plains Black Angus brand which was launched six months ago.LOWER North beef producers Nina and Shane Selleck understand that a growing number of consumers want to know where their beef comes from and how it is produced.

The young couple have ticked both of these boxes with their Barossa Plains Black Angus, a premium grain-fed beef.

The branded beef has full traceability from the paddock to the points of sale at the weekly Barossa Farmers Market, the Sellecks’ recently-acquired butcher shop or the local businesses they supply.

Since its launch in the middle of last year, the brand has enjoyed strong growth, with about six carcases now used each week. The beef is produced from the Selleck family’s Angus herds run at Lyndoch and Kapunda and are finished at their ASHSHA Park feedlot at Wasleys using grain and hay grown on-property.

The family’s livestock transport business – Selleck’s Transport – is used to move stock from the farm to the feedlot to the abattoir and they have a refrigerated truck to transport meat.

Shane’s parents Lyn and Braithe have run a self-replacing Angus herd for many years, supplying grain-fed cattle from their 800-head capacity feedlot to supermarkets. While this is still the family’s major farming business, Nina and Shane are now focusing their energy on directly supplying the consumer as well.

The couple said that living in the Barossa, they could see the high demand for quality products grown locally. This thinking was behind their decision to buy Barossa Plains Meats at Freeling last September and offer environmentally sustainable products.

Nina is proud that all the meat in the butcher shop – except the seafood – comes from within a 60 kilometre radius of Freeling, including locally grown pork, chicken from Riverton and beef and lamb. This ensures consumers buy products with low food miles.

“Because it is local, there is less travel, less carbon emissions, and we are trying to provide more employment in Freeling,” she said.

An important outlet for Barossa Plains Black Angus has been the Farmer’s Market which the couple have been participating in since July last year. Nina says the market presence has built awareness of the brand, given them valuable feedback on their beef and produced repeat customers looking for steak, roasts, sausages, even meatballs to feed their families.

“We are able to tell people we breed our own cows, grow the grain to feed the cattle which go into our feedlot and recycle the waste back on the paddocks as liquid fertiliser,” Nina said.

The couple also have online sales of quarter and half-sides of beef from the Barossa Plains Black Angus.

One of the most difficult parts of having a brand is using the secondary cuts but the Sellecks have this covered too. Their trademark 28-centimetre thick sausage in natural casing, known as the ‘Big Banger’, is very popular in the butcher shop and Farmers Market, and they supply mince to Sunrise Bakery at Angaston, Truro and now Gawler which goes into making their famous meat pies.

*Full story in Stock Journal, January 27 issue, 2011.

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