Get ready to grill!

Get ready to grill!

Interviews – 30.08.20

With barbecue season fast approaching, we talk to Spinneys' Australian beef farmer Stanbroke, to see how the family-owned company delivers its top-quality steaks


Australia's finest beef starts here

When and where did the Stanbroke story begin?

The company can trace its origins back to 1861 with the establishment of the cattle station Fort Constantine, in central Queensland, Australia. This region was found to be ideal for breeding and rearing cattle and the property is still owned by the company, serving now as a stud farm for our Wagyu breeding programme. The foundations of Stanbroke as it stands today, were formed during the 1960s when one of Australia’s biggest financial services institutions began buying many of the country’s best cattle stations to form one of Australia’s largest beef producers. In the 2000s it was sold to an Australian farming family and remains a family-owned business.

How does Stanbroke stand out from the herd?

What differentiates Stanbroke from the majority of beef companies is that we are an Australian family-owned, fully integrated beef and cattle company. Being family-owned, the company is shaped by our love of the land and our core beliefs of trust and integrity. As a vertically integrated operation, we own and manage the entire supply chain. From the cattle themselves to the stations on which they breed and graze, through to the backgrounding, feedlot and processing facilities, Stanbroke owns and manages each stage of the beef production process. This is important, as how the animal has been treated during each stage of the production process greatly impacts the quality of the final product and ultimately the eating experience of the end consumer. At Stanbroke we ensure only the highest standards are maintained at each stage and this is how we consistently deliver the production of high-quality beef.

What makes northern and southern Queensland so good for breeding cattle?

There are several critical components required in the production of quality beef with one of them being the environment. Our eight cattle stations in northern Queensland are located in remote locations and this vast area of over 1.6 million hectares comprises a natural environment free of pollutants and other contaminants. With the arrival of the annual monsoons the fertile soils produce lush pastures of natural grasses producing healthy cattle. We also manage 46 properties in the Darling Downs region of southern Queensland to background cattle destined for our grain-fed programmes. Backgrounding is the process of preparing cattle for entry into the feedlot and is a critical stage in the production of quality beef. The Darling Downs is one of the most famed farming regions in Australia consisting of some of the most fertile soils in the world and was chosen for both these natural aspects and its proximity to our feedlot and process facilities, ensuring that any transportation of cattle is kept to a minimum.

“Being family-owned, the company is shaped by our love of the land and our core beliefs of trust and integrity.”

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Spinneys protein commercial manager, Tom Harvey says…

“The most important thing for me is to ensure great quality consistently, so our customers know that every time they choose Spinneys beef, it’s the best. Stanbroke are our chosen partners because they are masters at this. They are the only beef producer that rears all their own cattle to the same exacting standards week in week out, year in year out. Compromise is not a word that exists at Stanbroke. They only produce the best. Because they own the farms, it means we know the farmers and the land they produce on – we have complete traceability. We visit their farms every year and see the livestock being raised in this incredible natural wilderness that ensures we have the tastiest and most tender beef available in the UAE.”

Farm-to-table process

Stanbroke is renowned for its animal welfare standards.

Stanbroke is owned by a farming family and as farmers the welfare of our animals is something we are very passionate about. In addition, we are committed to producing quality beef for our customers and as cited previously, the treatment of the animal during the production process greatly impacts the consumers’ eating experience. Subsequently the welfare of our animals is something Stanbroke takes very seriously and we are committed to and believe in the humane and respectful handling of our animals. We invest heavily in infrastructure across the business and only employ best practices across our operations to ensure the highest levels of animal welfare are maintained to eliminate as much stress as possible for our animals.

Please tell us about your beef varieties.

Stanbroke produces a wide range of beef including grain-fed, grass-fed and dry-aged beef categories. Our grain-fed category consists of cattle that are raised on grass before moving to a specially formulated grain programme designed to maximise marbling, flavour and tenderness. As part of our grain-fed category we have both short (>100 days) and long (>300 days) feed programmes across both composite, Angus and Wagyu breeds of cattle. All these categories provide an enjoyable dining experience, however our Angus and Wagyu are something special. Our Angus has a beautiful beef flavour, is amazingly tender and has a mild to medium level of marbling. For those who like higher marbled beef, our Wagyu is ideal. Our grass-fed programme consists of cattle that are only raised on grass and includes both our Flinders Natural and Organic categories. The cattle that make up our Flinders Natural range are pasture-raised, feeding only ever on grass. Our Organic cattle are like our Flinders Natural cattle, however have been raised by methods that comply with the strict certifications standards of organic farming. We currently supply into Spinneys a wide offering of products from individual cuts, roasts and burgers across our Wagyu, Angus and Organic categories. We are also working with Spinneys on new product offerings with a view to range our Flinders Natural product in the future.