A steak bred on a station south of Jericho in central-western Queensland, backgrounded at Breeza, fed for more than 400 days at Millmerran feedlot, Qld and processed at Casino has been crowned the world's best.
Tamworth-based Jack's Creek has won the World's Best Steak title at the 2023 World Steak Challenge announced just a couple of days ago. At the same event, Jack's Creek also won the title for World's Best Sirloin 2023 and Oceania's Best Steak 2023.
The managing director of Jack's Creek is Patrick Warmoll, who said this year's title was a massive win for the team, and they were proud of the achievement. The entry was submitted by Albers, Dusseldorf, Germany, an agent for Jack's Creek.
He said Jack's Creek won the world's best titles in 2015 and 2016 and was pipped at the post in 2017, just missing a hattrick of crowns. Last year Jack's Creek produced the world's best rib eye category winner, as well as Best Fillet, Best Ribeye and Best Grainfed in 2021, he added.
"It's fantastic to achieve this nine years after our last win," he said. "It's also a great win for Australian grainfed beef and for Australia to put a stamp on supplying premium beef."
Mr Warmoll said Jack's Creek used Wagyu cross cattle from "Tasmania to far north Queensland" and processes about 300 of that breed a week. They also process about 800 Angus carcases, bought on the hook from long-term customers. This translates to 55,000 cattle processed annually, but he said as the markets build, he anticipates this figure to be 65,000 head a year.
The sirloin from the Wagyu-Angus cross steer used for the competition was bred on the Hughes family's Tumbar Station aggregation of 68,000 hectares south of Jericho. Queensland Country Life (a sister publication to The Land) reported in 2016 that the Hughes family's Georgina Pastoral Company bought the aggregation in a walk-in, walk-out arrangement with 8000 Angus-cross cattle for $67.5 million.
The next step in the long journey for the steer was trucking from Jericho to Jack's Creek's Breeza property for a 150-day backgrounding on pasture and grain before the trip to Lemontree Feedlot owned by McNamee Family near Millmerran, Queensland, for 407 days of feeding. It was then processed at North Coast Meat Company, Casino.
Mr Warmoll said the cross-border journeys indicate Jack's Creek's vertically integrated involvement with beef producers.
"Normally, our Wagyu-cross cattle come from Victorian and NSW producers and then to be backgrounded at Breeza," he said.
The judging was undertaken at the Vlees & Co Steakhouse, Amsterdam, Netherlands, where 80 independent industry experts gathered to score all of this year's entrants according to raw and cooked criteria. Then, on Monday, at an exclusive awards ceremony at the Smith & Wollensky restaurant in London.
The success at the World Steak Challenge is also an excellent promotion for Jack's Creek as it extends its markets in the United States and the United Kingdom, with offices in Los Angeles and London.
Mr Warmoll said the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated with the UK means the Jack's Creek beef can enter that country with a zero tariff. He said this gives Jack's Creek a competitive edge over its major competitor in this market, the US, which doesn't have the same trade agreements as Australia.
"Going to a zero tariff has made all the difference. It's allowed us to compete in this market," he said.
Mr Warmoll said Jack's Creek was looking forward to a similar arrangement with the European Union and its population of 400 million.
A total of 346 medals were awarded to steaks at this year's World Steak Challenge, including a record 134 gold medals, with 120 steaks given silver medals and 92 steaks bronze medals.
Australia took home the most gold medals, with 18 steaks from the country awarded the accolade. In the grainfed fillet steak section, Albers and Jack's Creek won two gold medals, with another gold medal going to Providore Global Pty Ltd, Tallawanta, Garah. Albers & Jack's Creek won a silver medal in the grainfed fillet, as did Classic Fine Foods UK and Hancock Agriculture and JBS Global.
In the grainfed ribeye gold medal class, the Australian winners included Albers & Jack's Creek, with two gold medals, Carnimex Australia and Thomas Foods International. Silver medals went to Classic Fine Foods UK and Hancock Agriculture, and JBS Global. Providore Global Pty Ltd won bronze with a grainfed entry.
Grainfed sirloin gold medals: two gold medals to Albers & Jack's Creek and one gold to Classic Fine Foods UK and Hancock Agriculture. A silver medal in this section went to JBS Global, while bronze medals went to Albers and Jack's Creek and Thomas Foods International
In the Wagyu section, Stone Axe Pastoral Company, Perth, WA, won five with three gold medals to Albers and Jack's Creek. Stone Axe and Albers and Jack's Creek also won a silver medal each and two bronze went to Albers and Jack's Creek.
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