A NEW Speckle Park branded beef product called SPKL is set to hit consumers' plates targeting the high end restaurant market.
The SPKL brand was launched in 2018 after a 10 year legacy of heavy investment, relationship building and promotion of the Speckle Park breed within Australia.
Speckle Park breeders Dale Humphries, Wattle Grove Speckle Park, Oberon, and Greg Ebbeck, Six Star Speckle Park, Bundanoon, saw an opportunity to create a new category of beef in Australia, aimed at servicing Australia’s top chefs and restaurant with steak.
Led by marketing expert Anna Godfrey, who was responsible for establishing the Angus McDonalds burger, the brand was backed by a strong board with experience across management, accounting, marketing, export, sales and acquisitions and innovation including Peter Colley, Dean Thompson and Cameron Shepherd.
They joined Mr Humphries and Mr Ebbeck with a vision to be Australia’s best loved, premium meat brand.
Recently, Tricia Southwell was appointed general manager and Peter Conheady appointed supply chain manager, and in a short time, the team have created and established a strong brand, identified markets in Australia and overseas to supply, and defined a buying specification for producers to meet.
Aimed at offering a high-end product that will slot in between Wagyu and Angus, SPKL will offer full traceability of all products from both grass-fed and grain-fed preparations.
Speaking at the Why Speckle Park field day recently, Mr Humphries said when the Speckle Park breed originated producers were sold on the steak and the performance of the meat.
"We knew in Australia if we were going to succeed it was going to ultimately be with that steak on the plate," Mr Humphries said.
He said they knew they had a product that could slot in between the Wagyu and the Angus.
"They (Speckle Park) sort of marble that bit better, with the yield, and they don't lay down too much fat," he said.
Mr Humphries said the demand for Speckle Park branded beef had started to gain momentum and grow.
"Individual entries in steer competitions and feedback trials has shown carcase quality," he said. "Feedback received from restaurants and foodies of the world is that Speckle Park is a desirable product they want, and that was the driver behind SPKL."
Approximately 500 steers are currently on feed at John Dee Feedlot in Warwick, Queensland, many of which have come from the Carter family at Nyngan.
"Without HGPs (hormone-growth-promotants) cattle are doing about 2.4 kilograms of gain per head per day," Mr Humphries said.
"All of that product will go into either high end restaurants, Asian markets and places like Victor Churchill who have already signed up.
"There is a bidding war at the moment between restaurants and the higher end of town in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
"They all want Speckle Park."
SPKL brand specifications
To secure premium pricing for SPKL branding animals must be sired by a pure bred Speckle Park registered bull or Speckle Park British breed cross, and be hormone free.
Both heifers and steers of yearling age are being accepted, with all cattle subject to inspection by a Speckle Park Group Pty Ltd assessor.
Speckle Park International chairman Dale Humphries said they were looking for cattle to go into both grass-fed as well as grain-fed programs, with animals weighing between 380 kilograms to 450 kilogram at entry.
Mr Humphries said there was a high demand for grass-fed beef.
"There will be a grass-fed SPKL branded product that will be sourced from cattle properties in South Australia and Victoria where there is still some grass," he said.
"At the moment we have about 60 grass-fed steers just about ready to process."
Full traceability from paddock to plate is an important concept that chefs, restaurants and consumers want and SPKL won't be any different.
"We want full traceability on all the cattle, so we will trace the genetics, where the cattle have come from, where they have been bred, what bulls have been used," Mr Humphries said.
"So basically consumers can sit down at a restaurant and know exactly where that steak has come from, where it has been fed, where it has been processed - the whole lot."