PADDOCK to plate is the focus for the Steenbergen family of Young who produce their own lambs to process through their butcher shop.
Kyeran Steenbergen, his father, Gary, and brothers, Nathan and Stuart, have a meat focused, crossbred flock of 500 ewes that are joined to Gromark rams which are infused with Poll Dorset genetics. They lamb twice a year, in August and March to spread out their supply for the shop.
For about 15 years, every week 15 lambs are processed in their butcher shop, Gary’s Gourmet Meats, to total up to 800 lambs a year.
“Most of it is our own lamb, but we buy some in to meet demands,” he said. “More lease land will allow us to produce more, if not all of it. This allows for a 100 per cent consistent product and control of quality.”
Their paddock-to-plate lamb is marketed under the Good Friday Gully Farms pastured lamb and pork brand that has been created in the past few weeks.
Mr Steenbergen said they had received good feedback on their branded products because consumers knew where it was from and that it was free range.
“A big driver is traceability. When we had a shop in Canberra, tracebility was huge there,” he said.
“Consumers are cutting back on lamb due to the increase in price. Lamb is not our main product sold. Turnover of lamb is low compared to beef and chicken.
“When lamb and beef prices went so high, supermarkets were doing crazy specials and we couldn’t get close to matching which made it trickier. When prices go high, people go for prices rather than products.”
Targeting a 25 kilogram carcase with nice eye and loin chop, the family were able to handle bigger legs.
“We are able to cut it down to the size the customer wants, using the remainder for our value added products that include pies, curries and stir fries,” he said.
“Recently the most popular product is a lamb rump with mustard, cheese and bacon inside that people bake. It is a beautiful cut of meat that melts in your mouth. Crumbed cutlets are always popular.”
“When prices in store are compared to supermarkets, most products are comparable in price if not cheaper.”