Like most guys, I like my meat! From breakfast to dinner we consume produce where the majority of the country has no idea where it came from, let alone what it is they are eating. There is still a big knowledge gap between paddock to plate and it's an even further stretch when you are speaking about breeds. When you go to your standard supermarket butcher they have little to no idea what they are selling unless it's fish. The typical response is we have different cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and pork. There is one exception in the beef category it seems to be Angus and then everything else.
There are the chosen few who go in search of specific breeds and begin to understand the finer details of texture, taste, marbling, and fat scores. All of which make remarkable differences to the end product on the plate.
As a consumer I challenge you to: go to three (3) places where you usually pick up your cuts and ask the questions. What breed of (beef/pork/sheep/chicken) is this? What makes this great to eat and how should I cook it?
You will get one of two reactions: (more often) I don’t know, or (less often) you will get a world of knowledge from someone who has been waiting for someone to ask this for years.
Now, on a recent trip to New Zealand where I met up with Beef + Lamb New Zealand and was fortunate enough to experience local produce at local restaurants, there was a greater knowledge of source of produce, but still a little perplexed when it came to breed. Needless to say this didn’t stop me digging right in.
My argument is that education needs to come from producers direct to the public and bypass the retailer. Sure as consumers we make quick decisions based on marketing at the retailer but there is an opportunity to get in much sooner in particular for smaller producers who are specialising in specific breeds and management practices on farm.
Smaller producers can easily build a social media presence that has a much greater impact than a static out of date website where you are listing sale stock each time you have a sale (which we all know stays up long after the sale has ended).
Livestocked is bridging the gap between herd management, marketing and sales. We all love walking around our patch checking out how things are going and we notice the small but important changes for each animal. Sharing these stories, milestones, successes and failures on the farm can help drive better prices for your stock than just taking them to the abattoir.