Beefing up niche markets in Central Queensland
NORTH Burnett has become the Central Queensland hotspot for small scale abattoirs, and they are paving the way for niche beef producers.
While there are no butchers or meatworks in Rockhampton or Gladstone that will kill a beast and return the carcass, butchers in Eidsvold, Biggenden and two in Monto all carry out the service.
Monto Meat's butcher Matthew Dahtler does organic beef and pig processing as well as goats and sheep.
"We are all doing the same thing (the butchers in the North Burnett), but all in slightly different ways," he said.
"It is very rare to have four butcher-abattoirs within 100km, while they don't have any in Rockhampton or Gladstone."
Dave Dwyer owns a butcher shop in the beef capital of Australia, Rockhampton, but the closest thing to locally produced beef he can get is trucked up from Biggenden and processed in Brisbane and is almost the same price as Victorian beef.
"Central Queensland beef gets processed in Brisbane and you wouldn't know where it goes after that," he said. "No butcher can get anything killed locally in this place.
"We could send it to the North Burnett but the cost of getting it down there is too much.
"None of the meatworks (in Rockhampton) do kills for local butchers and the cost of setting up a small abattoir is too much."
Organic beef producers Grant and Carly Burnham have a property just outside of Monto and said having the meat processing services of Mr Dahtler close at hand was a massive help in starting up their business.
"Other people who do what we do always comment on how unique it is for us that we have a local butcher-abattoir who can help us," Mrs Burnham said.
She said they could also request the cuts they wanted.