Hereford Prime looks to WA

30 Jul, 2003 10:00 PM

WA Hereford and Hereford cross cattle producers could soon be asked to supply beef under Hereford Prime brand names.

In an interview with Farm Weekly at the recent WA Beef Cattle Assessment School, Hereford Prime chairman Ian Watson said the company was looking at licencing some WA outlets.

However, he said due to WA's seasonal supply difficulties there would also need to be support from eastern Australia.

"That's why Hereford Prime comes into this state at certain times of the year, due to lack of meat, lack of prime cuts and that sort of product, which is in continual supply in the east," he said.

Mr Watson said Hereford Prime beef was currently sold in WA under supermarket brands but this could change if local producers became involved in new arrangements to licence brands in WA.

He had also been due to meet with some leading Perth operators who wanted to use Hereford Prime products. "It's just come on the radar screen," he said.

"We would supply them product direct from the east and if we could get the locals organised in between we could get back to the original concept where they would do what they could," he said.

Mr Watson, from NSW, said beef flowing across state borders was commercial reality, which happened at certain times of the year. He did not believe WA producers were being undercut.

"This is a strong Meat Standards Australia (MSA) state and meat may come into WA supermarkets cheaper; sometimes you are dearer than us and sometimes we are dearer than you," he said.

"I think the local industry will be based on local requirements on local cattle, and at certain times of the year when the cattle aren't there it will come from somewhere else.

"It's an emotional issue which is hard to get through.

"Quality, well-priced product and continuity of supply over 12 months of the year is also an issue."

He said that licencing Prime Hereford brands in WA could not be done from head office in Wagga Wagga.

"Local breeders, distributors, wholesalers have got to have a network we can fully support," he said.

Hereford Prime slaughtered cattle under specification at Casino in the north and Wagga Wagga in the south of NSW at different times of the year to suit calving and seasonal conditions.

There were 664 producer shareholders in Hereford Prime.


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