Stephen, Georgie, Shea and Tuny Troeth at Leafdale Springs Beef.
Stephen, Georgie, Shea and Tuny Troeth at Leafdale Springs Beef. Christian Berechree

Farmers focus on sustainable beef that tastes great

TUNY Troeth doesn't like ordering beef when she goes to a restaurant.

The South Burnett cattle farmer is picky about the meat she eats, because what she produces at home is so good.

Mrs Troeth, along with her husband Stephen, has been producing exclusively grass-fed beef for about five years.

She says nothing else compares to the taste.

"We appreciate the flavour ourselves and we wanted to share that with customers," she said.

The Troeths run a 180-acre property called Leafdale Springs.

They used to turn steers and heifers through feedlots before sending them to major supermarkets, but now they manage everything themselves.

This includes rearing the cattle in a hands-on way, using a local butcher for slaughtering and transporting the beasts themselves.

"We're trying to keep it small so we can manage the land appropriately in a sustainable way," Mrs Troeth said.

"Our cattle are handled quite regularly. Every day we drive around in the paddock and interact with them, so they're well aware of us.

"We deliver to people's homes and stores in a food-safe accredited trailer."

 

While the Troeths are committed to producing 100 per cent grass-fed beef, she said there was room for diversity in the market.

"I personally believe there's room in the market across all areas. I do think there's room for feedlots and smaller producers," she said.

She admits going grass-fed and focussing on sustainability ups the price of the beef a little, Mrs Troeth said it was worth it.

"We believe we're quite economical with our price," she said.

Mrs Troeth encouraged consumers to think about what they spent their money on.

"Consumers need to be smarter with where their food dollars are going, so that if they're prepared to accept the price point for the food they're eating, but they aren't looking at the ethics of how it's produced, they might be willing to go to a major supplier," she said.

"I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I'm saying people need to be aware and make choices accordingly."

For the Troeths, making smarter choices starts at home.

"We're trying to be accountable ourselves as to, when we're sitting down to a meal as a family, looking at each item on the plate and asking 'where has this item come from?' and being aware of the ingredients in our food," she said.

"We all can do a lot if we analyse what's on our plate and asking 'what are the food miles?'"

"Food miles" refers to the distance food travels before it ends up in a store.

This can have a major environmental impact once fuel emissions and other factors are taken into consideration.

The Troeths do their best to keep their food miles as low as possible.

"We're limiting our delivery to about 300km, so we're keeping the food miles down," Mrs Troeth said.

South Burnett

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