What is Maleny Wagyu
Established in 2006, we sold our first Wagyu Beef to the public in 2010; making this farm the oldest “paddock to plate” beef venture on the Sunshine coast. We believe in high quality “farm finished” Wagyu beef produced and sold locally. This model ideally suits small producers who can adapt better to small boutique markets. We are a full member of the Australian Wagyu Association and all of our breeders are registered and DNA typed.
Generally speaking, all Wagyu producers in Australia raise their animals to 18 months of age, after which they are sent to a feedlot for between 350-600 days depending on the target market. Very small producers like ourselves are disadvantaged by our small production capacity, making it difficult financially and practically to be mainstream, so the paddock to plate concept is the only viable option. Although born out of necessity, it turns out that there are several advantages over our feedlot cousins:
- We can offer full traceability and quality assurance: I call it an “Integrity Profile”. Our beef has a full history- no longer are you eating a piece of South Australian Wagyu (or similar)- each carcass has an ID, kill date, supply date, dry age time, date of birth, grade of Wagyu, feed schedule, and full MSA graded carcass report from the abattoir which includes MSA index and ranking. No other beef producer in Australia supplies this, and yet it is done regularly in Japan.
- Different feed regime. If you have ever seen a feedlot, they don’t lend themselves to places I would like to visit- they have an image problem. Our animals are finished on pasture and are supplemented with spent mash from our local beer brewer “Brouhaha” (we supply their restaurant), day old bread from 3 local bakeries, hay, and a bit of regular grain. The farm and the animals pass the “ethical produced” beef test and make for a good photo.
- We do get most of our feed free, at least the spent mash, bread and pasture, so our cost of production is much lower than the feedlot which we pass on (unless my wife finds some nice shoes- thenproduction costs go up).
- Quality. Yes we have some of that. All animals are MSA graded (Meat Standards Australia). They are graded as “grass fed” (the name “grain fed” is trademarked and owned by the lotfeeders association) and grade in the top 10% in Queensland. Our Fullblood Wagyu grade in the top 1%.
Small farmers are rarely in it for the money (the wife actually has a full time job and buys me shoes), but are very passionate about their land and their animals and are about improving both. Ultimately, producing a quality product and sharing it, is reward enough.