SHE’S been a driving force behind Angus branded beef for the past 10 years, but Certified Angus Group (CAG) chief executive Kate Brabin is stepping down following a restructure of the business.
Mrs Brabin started with Certified Australian Angus Beef Pty Ltd (CAAB) team in 2006 before becoming chief executive of CAG in 2014.
“When I joined CAAB it was a brand company only, but during my time there we developed and wrote verification programs for many Angus brands across the industry, as well as developing the pasture-fed brand Angus Pure.”
Mrs Brabin worked in a small team of three to develop the groundwork for Angus branded beef products and their verification. Among the major achievements was the use of verified and branded Angus beef through McDonald’s restaurants.
“Verification of McDonald’s Angus beef evolved when McDonald’s identified consumers were aware of the Angus breed and identified Angus as a quality breed,” Mrs Brabin said.
“McDonald’s approached CAAB as we represented the producer brand and asked us to verify their product. In developing that program, we pushed the branded beef industry to verify products correctly and true to label, ensuring that it’s not just a marketing claim, but the product is Angus.”
CAAB, established 22 years ago, was one of the first brands in Australia. It set a standard for branded beef and the story behind a food product.
“I’m really passionate about the beef industry and that Australian people consume Australian beef,” Mrs Brabin said.
“It is imperative that the domestic and world markets know with certainty that Australian Beef is clean, it's green, and it's produced sustainably.
“We've worked hand in hand with processors over the years to develop that message for our domestic consumers as well as our export customers.”
Selling the Angus story – a consistent, high quality product, grown in Australia – has worked.
“The uptake of Angus beef products is enormous and we can be proud that we had a role in making the Angus breed household name,” Mrs Brabin said.
“CAAB, now CAG, defined what it means to be eating good quality Angus beef through certification and verification.”
The team manages the verification for about 15 Angus brands, a market Mrs Brabin believes is the way forward for processors.
“It's not about identifying your company on the carton of meat – it's about the brand that the consumer sees,” she said.
“People are looking for the story behind the product – where it was raised, how it was produced.”