Charbray Association Australia


The Inspector Editorial - 4 December 2008

New initiative sets the standard

by Katie Lloyd

With the ambition of offering a uniform standard of high quality cattle, the Charbray Society this year adopted the practice of inspecting all sale bulls in the lead up to their National Sale. The move proved a success and produced a catalogue of consistent Charbray cattle that reflected the breed’s “Standard of Excellence”.

Well known classifier, Geoff Coombe was contracted by the society to carry out the inspections and said he was pleased to be a part of the process. “My interest in Charbray cattle stems back many years and it’s good to see the society adopt this process. I believe there are many benefits this service can offer both vendors and buyers and I trust it will help progress the breed in years to come,” he said.

Geoff’s involvement with the beef industry spans most of his life. He grew up in Northern Queensland where his father worked for Stanbroke Pastoral Company on one of their bull breeding properties. It was here that he first learned of Charolais cattle through the company’s importation of semen. During the 1980s he was a regular on the show circuit working for both the Greenfield and Tartrus studs and later, was a partner in the Roxborough Brahman Stud which he bowed out of in the early 1990s. For 18 years he worked solely for the Santa Gertrudis Society as a classifier which saw him inspecting herds in both Australia and New Zealand, and in the past two years he has been employed by both the Brahman and Charbray Societies.

“Classifying is all about ensuring a consistent line of cattle and it represents uniformity in a particular breed. The Charbray Society has been working tirelessly over the years to be seen as a breed in its own right; not simply an off shoot of Brahmans or Charolais, and this policy of classifying ensures the breed is definitive in its breeding policies,” Geoff said.

When Geoff inspects cattle he assesses a number of traits and requirements that have been specifically enforced by the relevant society. “Basically my main role is to examine the structural correctness of the animal; look at its coat, colour, shape, legs and testicles, and ensure it meets the breeds’ criteria. I will inspect the bull individually in the yard and spend a couple of minutes going over it. It’s easy for some breeders to get complacent when they are looking at their cattle on a daily basis; they may overlook the important details like feet and toes,” he said.

Bulls prepared for the Charbray National Sale were initially inspected back in July and again in the days preceding the sale. “Some people believe it’s too early inspecting the draft three to four months beforehand but we like to do it because it eliminates those bulls that may not make the grade come sale day. A lot of time and money goes into preparing sale bulls, and the last thing you want to do is cull an animal after the money has already been spent,” Geoff said.

Geoff believes that the introduction of inspections certainly assured a consistent line at this year’s sale. “I think we removed the fluctuation between good and bad cattle which I believe can have a detrimental effect on a sale. The offering was very consistent but sadly the sale result did not indicate the standard of cattle that was presented on the day,” he said.

While the concept of classifying and inspection is questioned by some, Geoff said that most vendors embraced it. “It certainly gives people an idea of how their cattle compare to others and they know their stock is making the grade. Integrity is imperative to me and I call a spade a shovel; I don’t lower my standards. As for the buyers, they have the confidence of knowing they are getting a quality animal that has met the requirements set out by the breed itself,” he said.


Promotion Reaps Rewards Editorial - 4 December 2008

Promotion reaps rewards

by Katie Lloyd

Promotion plays an important role in any beef operation and for Paul and Georgie Connor it has given them the reassurance they are producing the right article. This year they were recipients of the “2008 Promoter of the Year”, an award presented annually by the Charbray Society recognising the achievements of one of its members.

Described as quite unexpected, Paul said he and Georgie were thrilled to receive the acknowledgement and regarded it as a testament to their breeding programme. “This sort of recognition is important for us as both commercial and stud breeders. You aim to breed your cattle for the right reasons and I suppose this gives you the confidence that you’re doing something right. It certainly puts your cattle out there and gets them good exposure and that’s what you want when you’re trying to sell them,” Paul said.

Supporting a number of special sales and feature shows, Paul and Georgie had terrific success at last year’s CQ Carcass Classic with two of their heifers respectively taking out Champion and Reserve Champion titles in the Grass Fed Carcass category. “That was a good day; maybe even a strike of luck,” said Paul. “But we were so pleased with the outcome.”

Their property “Rosewood”, based an hour west of Rockhampton in the Mornish district is home to their stud and commercial operations. With two separate breeding herds comprising both Droughtmasters and Charbrays, the Connors aim to breed and fatten bullocks for the Jap Ox market. They established their “Rosewood” stud a few years ago and sell Charbray bulls in the paddock and at the annual Charbray National Sale.

Charbrays have made a great impact on the operation and Paul believes they are a breed with many benefits. “Feedback from processors reports that our cattle are grading well and on average return a dressed weight of around 350 to 360kg. Most are milk or two teeth; however you get some with four teeth if they are turned off later in the season. Although, for cattle that are finished on blade ploughed country I think the Charbrays are doing very well,” he said.

Genetics are sourced from Greenfields, Huntington and Stewart Park and Paul said that sire selection all came back to the commercial side of his operation. “We want good common sense cattle; nothing too extreme. We place strong emphasis on temperament, good udder formation on the females, good weight for age and not much hair on the Charbrays,” he said.

Building a reputation of breeding and turning off top quality cattle is something all beef producers aspire to, and Paul and Georgie believe that promotion will help them achieve this goal. “You need to promote your stock because it is this feedback that allows you to assess what can be done to make further improvements; and in this competitive industry, you can’t afford to be too complacent,” Paul said.


Life Membership Editorial - 4 December 2008

Life membership an honour

by Katie Lloyd

It was an announcement that took him by complete surprise and was one he certainly never expected. At this year’s AGM, founding member and long serving councillor Grant Sherrif was made a Life Member of the Charbray Society of Australia. Honoured to receive such recognition, Grant said it was something he never envisaged. “I am a small player in the scheme of things and I am very humbled to receive this life membership. I had absolutely no idea it was coming and was quite taken aback in all honesty,” he said.

Grant’s involvement with the Charbray breed spans 30 years and he, together with his wife Leonie, own and operate the Wheeler-View Charbray stud based at Yeppoon. Initially their primary business focused on pineapple production and it was actually by chance they came across Charbrays. “My brother-in-law, Dr John Frisch worked for the CSIRO in the 1960s and was actually one of the first issued with licence to import Charolais semen from the United Kingdom. We eventually bought in some Brahman cows and decided to commence an AI program and that was really the beginning of it all for us,” Grant said.

The Sherrif’s established their stud in the mid 1970s with the Charbray Society officially launched on the 13 August 1977. Wheeler-View sold bulls at the first Charbray Society sponsored sale held at Rockhampton in October 1978 and has supported it annually ever since. “That first sale saw one of Sir Graham McCamley’s Tartrus bulls sell for a top price of $2500, while Lot 1, a bull bred by John Ahern, sold for $1250,” Grant said. “Three years later, in 1980, saw the introduction of inspecting bulls prior to the sale and in 1986 the first line of registered females were offered.”

Grant, Leonie and their daughter Helen, were also a part of the first showing of registered Charbray cattle at the Brisbane RNA in 1982 and supported it annually for a number of years. They had success on two occasions where they took out Champion Charbray Female and Champion Charbray Bull.

Over the years Grant has stood on the council a number of times and is currently serving on the present council. He believes there has been significant developments over the years and has pushed hard to steer the society toward promoting a more stabilised breed. “We have seen many big developments over the years, particularly when we tightened up the breed’s “Standard of Excellence” back in 1990. I really pushed to see tougher guidelines on colour standards and the overall presentation of cattle going through the show ring and being sold through society sponsored sales, and this has made a considerable difference. I also lobbied for the introduction of a breeding plan to create more uniformity in our cattle,” he said.

Grant says today’s current council is made up of a good team trying to steer the breed forward. While he says it can be challenging at times, he believes things are headed in the right direction. “Charbray cattle have a lot to offer. They are a versatile breed and it’s this flexibility that gives them an edge to deliver more stabilised progeny. As a society our emphasis now is to encourage generational breeding and we’re slowly starting to see this come through,” he said. “We are spending a lot of money on marketing and are encouraging our members to be involved. We feel they need to be involved – it’s in their best interest. Hopefully, with their support we will continue to drive the breed forward and for me, that’s what it’s all about.”


Huntington Sale Report - 23 October 2008

Huntington Sale Report

by Alan Wilson, Bernborough Press 07 4691 2658

The buoyant demand for Charbrays at the 2008 Huntington sale was a convincing affirmation that buyers are recognising the advantages of securing established, proven bloodlines in this strongly emerging breed.

Defying the pattern of tough Charolais and Charbray sales, which has continued throughout the 2008 selling season, buyers from a wide area turned up in numbers to bid for the 80 Charbray bulls and 44 registered unjoined heifers offered by Welsh Cattle Co on October 3. The sale also included 75 Charolais bulls offered by Huntington along with guest vendors Branchview Charolais of Dalby, and for the first time, even with larger numbers, the Charbray average matched the Charolais bulls.

2008 marked the 10th anniversary of Huntington's independent sale, which is now the largest single brand catalogue of Charbrays in Australia. The Taroom based operation has the scale and pulling power to draw buyers from far afield, and spokesman Matt Welsh was pleased to report that this year achieved the largest geographical spread of buyers in the sale's history.

Buyers travelled from Central NSW to Charters Towers, and from the Winton/Longreach districts to the Queensland coast. "There was also other interstate interest in our catalogue from WA with discussions continuing regarding future bull and semen sales."

Matt said the Welsh family remained "very pleased" that the overwhelming majority of buyers are repeat clients. "And it was good too, to see that a solid number of the bulls and females are heading towards a future in some of the breeds' leading and emerging studs."

At $20,000, the sale topper was Huntington Banjo, a Charolais bull who will be used in the Moongool Stud. This was closely followed with a $18,000 result for the outstanding Charbray bull, Huntington Congo which sold to Dudley Leitch's Condamine River Meats.

Securing seven purchases at this year's sale, Condamine River Meats, a vertically integrated breeding, finishing and retailing enterprise, report great satisfaction with the consistency of Huntington's Charbray bloodlines, and this endorsement was further reinforced with several other top results around the $12,000 to $10,000 mark.

George and Cathy Hoare from Central Queensland paid $12,000 for Huntington Backdraft, and stated after the sale they were very pleased to get him for the price. Backdraft will go into work in their rising Braylyn Charbray Stud at Rockview, Bluff.

Other lots destined for stud careers included Huntington Character, which sold to Pat Bredhauer's Acton Charbray stud and will be used over recently acquired high quality Charbray heifers, including more than 50 sourced from Huntington earlier in the year.

Paul and Georgie Connor of Rosewood Charbrays at Mornish bought three bulls and two heifers, paying $9,000 for Huntington Choice. Warren Smith and family were others seeking stud bloodlines, buying two heifers and lot 111, Huntington Caviler, to be used in their Celestial Charbray Stud, Gympie.

The draft of 44 registered Charbray unjoined heifers realised the very pleasing average of $1528 with a complete clearance. Graham Neilsen, of Bunjurgen Charbrays, Boonah, bought nine heifers, including the top priced female Huntington Cinderella for $2300, and the Ford family of Wattlebray Stud, Chinchilla were other volume buyers, taking home eight heifers.

Matt Welsh believes the strong result was underpinned by the ever growing buyer satisfaction and repeat clientele Huntington enjoys. He said Huntington Charolais and Charbray had "an unswerving breeding and preparation policy optimised for the serious commercial cattle industry" and this strategy will always find acceptance with producers who's livelihood depends on commercial success.

"The proof of the pudding, so to speak, can be found in the fact that astute breeders, such as Owen and Lorraine Becker who run a very successful, larger scale breeding and fattening operation over several properties, continue to put their trust in our bloodlines.

"This year we were very pleased to see them here again of course, and they bought seven bulls."

The largest single purchase went to Rod Shepherd of the Gold Coast, who bought 18 heifers and two bulls for his Coorumbong, Numinbah Valley venture where he specialised in breeding high quality cattle.

Huntington's reputation for quality seedstock is well paired by their enthusiastic and innovative approach to marketing. To celebrate their 10th anniversary sale, the vendors came up with a concept which generated unprecendented excitement when they provided a Yamaha Big Bear quad bike as a "thank you" to the buyers "who have driven the growth and success of our sale".

While the Welsh family had much to be pleased about after the sale, no one was smiling more than winners of the bike, Harold and (especially) Pam Dwyer of Biggenden, who was so impressed with the prize she immediately declared it a 'male no go zone'.

Prior to the sale, Luke Welsh commented that an attractive 'all expenses paid' holiday could have been provided at similar cost, but the bike was chosen "because most of our clients don't know what a holiday is!".

Pam Dwyer agreed 100 percent. She said they didn't get to have many holidays "but I wouldn't swap this little beauty for one anyway, not under any circumstances."


National Sale Report - 9 October 2008

Stringent breeding objectives pay dividends

by Katie Lloyd

It proved a successful day for Charles McKinlay representing the Stewart Park and Chasmac Charbray studs at this year’s National Charbray Sale held at Gracemere on September 24.

Stewart Park, owned by Carl and Gail Morawitz and managed by Mr McKinlay, offered four bulls returning the excellent average of $7500 with one bull securing the top price of $15,000. Mr McKinlay, who runs his own stud Chasmac, sold a further four sires for a solid average of $5000.

While prices were back on previous years, Charles said the quality of the sale draft was most certainly up. “I believe the sale draft as a whole was more in line in terms of quality, however unfortunately the prices were down a bit compared to previous years. This has always been a good sale for us and we have been supporting it for a number of years,” he said.

Charles has been involved with the Charbray breed for 35 years starting out with commercial cattle before moving into the stud industry. His involvement with Stewart Park commenced 32 years ago and has grown into a successful partnership with the Morawitz family. “I manage Stewart Park for Carl and Gail and run my own stud as well. We run the operations together and have forged a good partnership over the years,” Charles said.

The breeding objective of both studs is weight for age with a focus on length, meat, bone and quality. “Most people focus on high marbling but that doesn’t help in our country because those types of cattle are too soft. As far as I’m concerned weight for age combined with meat, length and quality puts a bulge in your hip pocket,” Charles said.

Charles says he has tried many different breeds over the years but found Charbrays were best suited to the surrounding environment. “We have good buffel country and under my management I find that Charbrays are the best when focusing on weight for age. We have run other breeds up here but Charbrays have most definitely been the stand out performers,” he said.

Probably the most critical component of the operation is sire selection and Charles believes it counts to put forward the dollars. “We spend a lot of money on our bulls; I don’t believe you can breed a first class beast without using a top bull. For me, it’s probably more of a case that I simply can’t afford not to buy good bulls,” he said.

Another important factor taken into consideration when buying sires is assessing the impact they will have on the existing female herd. “Bulls will come and go but the mark they make on the breeding herd stays on for a very long time and is why we have to be careful with the selection process,” Charles said.

In conjunction with the stud, Charles runs a commercial operation turning off a couple of hundred bullocks annually. He said this helped monitor the progress of the genetics being used and ensured their breeding programme was on track.

Turning off around 100 bulls each year, Charles said that it was imperative stud breeders do their best to maintain the many qualities the breed has to offer. “Charbrays are renowned for their doing ability and weight for age performance and we must not jeopardise these qualities during the breeding process,” he said. “As seed stock producers we need to think carefully about the genetics we use to ensure commercial beef producers can continue to reap the rewards Charbrays can offer.”


"Top genetics on offer at National Sale" Editorial - 5 September 2008

Top genetics on offer at National Sale

by Penelope Arthur

The selection of top genetics has long been recognised as a vital ingredient in any commercial beef operation.

But when it comes to stabilising a crossbred herd, Charbray Society of Australia vice-president Matt Welsh believes there is no consideration more important than bull selection.

Mr Welsh said that after successive generations, herd bulls account for a large percentage of genetic variation in the herd.

He believes there are a growing number of commercial producers who have been using Charolais bulls over Brahman cows and are unsure what direction their breeding program should take.

He said the selection of the right type of Charbray bull is the ideal choice for producers in this situation as it will allow them to stabilise the herd and produce a more even line of progeny.

“Provided these producers use the right type of Charbray genetics they have much to gain from stabilising that line of cattle with Charbray bulls,” Mr Welsh said.

“If you are careful about the genetics you are using and select bulls that compliment your cow herd while maintaining extra muscle and thickness, then you won’t compromise the genetic gains you have made with your first cross.”

Mr Welsh believes this year’s offering of 111 bulls at the National Charbray Sale at the Gracemere Saleyards on September 24 will present the perfect opportunity for producers to source the right type of genetics for their herds.

This year the Charbray Society has gone to new lengths to ensure this year’s line-up of bulls are consistent with the Charbray Standard of Excellence.

Mr Welsh said the Society has hired an independent inspector to assess all the cattle several months prior to sale to ensure they meet the criteria set out by the Standard of Excellence.

The inspector is a highly respected and experienced cattle assessor who began looking at bulls back in July. The bulls will also be re-checked the day prior to the sale.

Mr Welsh said the idea is not to restrict the number of bulls being offered but to ensure vendors catalogue a consistent line of bulls that will promote the breed and lift the sale to a new level.

“Cattlemen who make the decision to attend the sale don’t need to be reassured about the benefits of the breed however they do require some assurance about the quality of animals will be on offer,” he said.

“That’s what we are trying to achieve by applying a Standard of Excellence.”

The 2008 National Charbray Sale will see 111 registered bulls and 24 registered females offered from some of Australia’s leading stud breeders.

Mr Welsh said the offering includes a larger number of generation bred cattle along with a selection of the best bloodlines that the Charolais and Brahman breeds have to offer.

“It is the general consensus of the Charbray Society and sale vendors that for the Charbray breed to remain at the forefront of the Australian beef industry, consistency of product and strength in breeding are of upmost importance,” he said.

“In saying this, a larger number of generation bred bulls are included in the 2008 catalogue.”

“This will suit commercial cattlemen looking for Charbray bulls with the very best Charbray pedigree.”

All bulls will be subject to a full veterinary examination including semen testing prior to the sale.

Measurable objective data including fat scans, EMA, scrotal measurement and weight will be collected at Gracemere the day before the sale and will be available on the supplementary sheet.

Buyers interested in selecting the lots prior to the sale are invited to inspect the stock and join the Charbray Society and sale vendors for a few drinks later in the afternoon.


"Charbray Feedlot Performance" Editorial - 4 September 2008

Charbray feedlot performance

by Penelope Arthur

LEADING Queensland feedlot operators are consistently reporting above average weight gains in Charbray cattle on feed according to several key sources.

AA Co group breeding manager Greg Gibbons said his company breeds and lotfeeds a large number of Charbray cross cattle at their Comet facility, Goonoo Feedlot.

He said the results of a feeding trial using around 200 Charbray steers at Aronui Feedlot, Dalby, five years ago highlights why the AA Co has chosen to continue using the breed.

“We had around 200 Charbray bullocks that were fed for 105 days and had an average daily weight gain of 2.2kg and a feed conversion ratio of 6:1 on a dry matter basis.”

“This gives an indication of just what the Charbrays can do.”

Mr Gibbons said the AA Co has been using Charbray genetics in a composite breeding program on their gulf properties, Lawn Hill and Alcala and their properties in the Victoria River Group.

“We use Charbray’s in our composite breeding program and the reason we use them is because we like the growth rates that we get out of the Charolais and the adaptability and survivability of the Brahmans,” he said.

“We cross them with different British breeds to make our final composite and we’re very happy with the results we are getting in the feedlots.”

Teys Brothers also feed Charbray cattle at their 28,500head Condamine Feedlot and keep confidential breed specific records on animal performance.

Geoff Teys said Charbray’s remain highly sought after for the shortfed market.

“They do very well in the feedlot for that shortfed market and you can see that in the saleyards where they are always making the most money at the store sales,” he said.

“We feed quite a few Charbray’s as long as we can get access to them.”

Smithfield Feedlot manager David Harris said he has noticed better performance in cattle with a Charolais influence but has not specifically recorded the gains of Charbray cattle.

Based at Proston, the 20,000 head Smithfield Feedlot is used to feed a high percentage of Brahman cattle for their 100 day product.

“The majority of the Brahman cattle from above the tick line and I have noticed that those Brahman cattle with a Charolais influence generally perform better than the straight Brahmans,” he said.

The Charbray Society would like to hear from any feedlot operators with good statistical data on the performance of Charbray or Charolais infused cattle.

Anyone with data on the performance of Charbray cattle in feedlots can


"Uniformity the key at National Sale" Editorial - 3 September 2008

Uniformity the key at National Sale

by Katie Lloyd

Attracting both vendors and buyers from across the country, this year’s National Charbray Sale, to be held at the Gracemere Saleyards on Wednesday, 24 September, 2008 promises to catalogue another impressive line of Charbray genetics.

The sale, hosted by the Charbray Society, will this year include 111 registered bulls and 24 registered females from some of Australia’s leading stud breeders. “This sale is an outlet for all members of the Charbray Society to sell their cattle,” said society vice president, Matt Welsh. “Numbers have fluctuated a bit and as a society we have made a few changes ensuring a high quality sale draft.”

Consistency is the key objective of the sale and the society has made it their priority to ensure buyers can select from a uniform line of cattle. “Feedback from previous years has supported this notion; clients are looking for consistent lines of cattle. They want the security of knowing they are getting Charbray cattle boasting the typical breed attributes,” Matt said.

This year the society has employed an inspector to check all cattle featured in the sale to make sure they meet the “Charbray Standard of Excellence”, which basically ensures that all cattle are true to type. Cattle have been inspected on-property during the pre-sale preparation and will be re-inspected the day before the sale at Gracemere.

“The sale committee have been very encouraged by the enthusiasm the sale vendors have shown by taking on board this new concept,” said Matt. “This in itself proves a very committed group of vendors that are focused on taking the sale to a new level. A catalogue chock full of predictable genetics is the end result, whether it is Charbray bulls or females with Charbray pedigrees, generations of breeding, or animals boasting some of the cream of the Brahman and Charolais breeds.”

Matt said that while cattle breeders were either still in or coming out of tough seasonal conditions, and with breeder cattle numbers down, producers were slowly regaining confidence in both the market and the season. “I certainly think things are starting to look better and while it’s hard to gauge how things will go on the day, we are getting genuine interest from clients,” he stated.

As a breed society Matt said the council and its members were working tirelessly to ensure a strong future for Charbray cattle. “It’s a very exciting time for the Charbray breed. People are starting to learn and see what the breed can offer, not to mention the many benefits they have in our environment,” he said. “So what we need to do as Charbray seed stock producers is keep putting the right article into the market place."

All cattle featured in this year’s sale draft are sold with a veterinarian soundness evaluation and supplementary data including scanning records and scrotal measurements will be available on sale day.

For further information or a Sale Catalogue please Ph. 0749 274 044 or email


Focusing on the Future Editorial - 6 August 2008

Focusing on the future

by Katie Lloyd

There are certainly many issues influencing the confidence of Australian beef producers at present however, according to Meat and Livestock Chairman, Don Heatley, producers also have a lot to look forward to.

“The global market is in a state of flux and there are so many impacts on the industry in a global sense. Food for fuel is one example, not to mention the massive effect of fertiliser and fuel costs; these are all attacking the profit margins. However this aside, I believe in the medium term there is going to be a great opportunity for Australia’s red meat producers,” he said.

Having served as MLA’s chairman for two and a half years, Don said that the industry as a whole had made considerable progress and was maturing all the time. The introduction of key systems such as NLIS, LPA and MSA in the last few years has made a tremendous impression and Don believes they are setting the foundation for a successful future.

“Australia is in a fantastic position on a global scale. We have systems in place to guarantee our products, and with a shrinking worldwide land base where red meat is produced, Australia has an opportunity to fill that market,” he said.

“All of the systems we have introduced in recent years have come into play and are at a point where we believe they are sitting comfortably. We believe MSA has given plenty of opportunities to the production sector and has allowed them to fine tune the way they operate. It has set a great target, particularly in the grass fed industry, to work towards.

“The LPA program has clearly been of major benefit to Australian producers and has highlighted the fact that our on farm safety practices are highly regarded all around the world. Link this with the traceability of the NLIS system and we are the envy of other markets,” Don stated.

The introduction of the NLIS scheme proved extremely challenging however Don believes it has found its place in the industry. “NLIS was certainly a difficult issue however I think it is now the last thing on people’s agendas. Many of the teething issues are being addressed and I believe it is a system that will continue to evolve,” he said. “I think it is important to note that the NLIS system is an incredible management tool within a beef producer’s own herd. It can also be used as an identification and drafting tool and allows for many management opportunities and capabilities within a herd structure,” Don added.

From an MLA perspective, Don believes that the big issues facing the industry in moving forward is the impact of input costs, both at an industry and individual level. He says there is so much that is out of our hands but believes more can be done to combat the problem. “As an industry we must research and devise new methods to lessen the costs. We have to find new and stronger markets which will ensure we are not confined to just a few. Another key area we’re focusing on is aimed at shortening the supply chain between producer and consumer which will ultimately drive the costs out and return more to the producer,” he stated. While this may sound easier said than done, Don believes it is by all means achievable.

Australian beef has earned a strong reputation overseas in recent years and Don believes this is due to our stringent safety measures. “Australia has had open access to Korea and Japan because our product is clean and safe. We have the right systems in place and the consumers want that guarantee,” he said.

An emerging market that is presenting plenty of opportunity for Australian beef producers is Russia. Figures in the 2006/2007 financial year recorded export sales of 8000 tonnes however in the following 12 month period this amount increased to 45,500 tonnes. Don said that MLA was forecasting further growth in 2008/09 with an estimated 70,000 tonnes heading Russia’s way. “This particular market is most definitely growing and developing and allows Australia to diversify,” he added. While Russia is most definitely the “here and now”, Don believes that Europe is the future. “There is plenty of opportunity in Europe however we just have to get past the problem of tariffs and quotas. This is most definitely an area for future development,” he said.


Live Export Editorial - 6 August 2008

Charbray demand in Indo feedlots

By Penelope Arthur

One of Indonesia’s largest importers of Australian cattle, Agro Giri Perkasa General Manager, Greg Pankhurst, believes Charbray cattle are building a strong reputation in the Indonesian lofted market.

Mr Pankhurst heads up the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) and Agro Giri Perkasa Indonesian Feedlot Joint Venture which has been operating in Indonesia for the past nine years.

The venture originally custom fed cattle from CPC showpiece property, Newcastle Waters, in leased facilities in Indonesia but commissioned their own feedlot outside Lampung on the Island of Sumatra in 2003.

They now have a 17,000 head feedlot facility that finishes around 60,000 Australian bred cattle annually, including 45,000 head from CPC.

The majority of the cattle are finished for Indonesia’s traditional market where they are generally used for traditional meals such as curries and meatballs.

Mr Pankhurst said the vast majority of the cattle coming through the Australian live export system are Brahman based but he said more Charbray cattle have come forward since CPC expanded its breeding program to include Charbray genetics.

He said the Charbrays perform extremely well in the feedlot and are referred to as “the sirloin cattle” by the locals because of their high meat yield.

“The local people don’t even know them as Charbrays they just refer to them as the sirloins because they get a really big sirloin out of them,” he said.

“We only see a smattering of Charbray in the feedlot but we would love to see more because they perform very well.”

Mr Pankhurst said most Australian producers tend to chase the premiums being paid for Charbray cross cattle in domestic markets rather than send them through the live export trade.

“In the early days we did see more of the Charbrays in Indonesia but it’s now more economically attractive for companies like CPC to send them to their fattening properties and then through domestic markets,” he said.

“But in the past when we have had groups of Charbrays they have been very well received in the market, mainly because of their high meat yield and low fat coverage.”

The CPC Ago Giri Perkasa Indonesian Joint Venture has a second 2000 head feedlot on the Island of Java, around 75km from the city of Jakarta.

The joint venture is also currently building a third feedlot in Medan in north Sumatra which will have a capacity of up to 7000 head.

The cattle are normally fed for 90 days on a ration made from agricultural by-products such as pineapple waste, copra waste and corn silage.

AAA Livestock Service Pty Ltd managing director Angus Adnam is heavily involved in Australian live export trade and said he has been watching with interest the reaction from feedlot operators in countries such as Indonesia to Charbray cattle.

“Demand certainly outstrips supply because people see the advantages of them in weight gain and cutting percentages,” he said.


ACC Editorial - 1 July 2008

ACC backs tropical breeds

By Penelope Arthur

Australian Country Choice (ACC) chief executive officer David Foote has acknowledged the contribution of tropical infused cattle to the ACC herd.

Mr Foote has confirmed that ACC do handle tropical infused cattle despite some speculation in the industry that Australia’s major supermarkets do not accept Charolais cross cattle.

“Australian Country Choice is in the beef business, not the breed business,” Mr Foote said.

“As a producer and processor we have a customer carcase specification at the end of the chain and suppliers should grow what is the most profitable to them to achieve that specification.”

“We certainly don’t suggest to others what their breed should be.”

ACC has emerged as a major player in the Queensland processing sector since it’s inception as Leeson in 1968.

Since then, three generations of the Lee family have worked in the family business, helping to develop a vertically integrated operation right through the breeding, growing, feeding, processing and packing of beef that supplies a large percentage of the yearling beef sold by Coles.

ACC chief executive officer David Foote said the company became aware of the potential of Charolais and Charolais cross cattle after the purchase of Babbiloora Station at Augathella in 1998 and its cattle herd from Sinclair Hill.

Mr Foote said ACC have also introduced other breeds such as Droughtmaster and Senepol to their breeding herd, helping the company maintain a herd with progeny capable of achieving optimum marketability.

“Like other producers ACC needs to have a cattle herd that is functional, productive, suited to the land types and environments owned or being utilised but with progeny capable of achieving optimum marketability,” he said.

ACC owns 15 properties covering 365,000ha of southern Queensland plus the 15,000 head (SCU’s) Brindley Park Feedlot at Roma and the 3200 head (SCUs) capacity Brisbane Valley Feedlot.

The company headquarters are located at the Cannon Hill processing facility in Brisbane.

While ACC aims to breed a significant percentage of the cattle required to fill it’s obligation to Coles, the company also has a dedicated alliance of livestock producers and lotfeeders who supply the program.

ACC also source steers and heifers at current spot market prices direct from producers, lotfeeders and saleyard centers.

The current target for ACC’s ideal carcase supply is 220-270kg HSCW, 0-2 teeth, 1A-2 Meat Colour, 0 Fat Colour, 6-12mm P8 Fat, 4-10mm Rib Fat and an Eye Muscle Area of 60-80cm.

Mr Foote said cattle sourced from other producers must have good bone, good length of loin and depth of hindquarter, early finishing ability to meet market specifications as yearlings and soft heads.

He said feedlots are an invaluable part of the ACC supply chain because they enable the company to produce a consistent product all year round.

“Feedlots have been integral in achieving product consistency but certainly not because ACC like grain feeding or the cost of it,” he said.

“Consumers are generally intolerant of variation and variability and feedlots help smooth out seasonal variability.”


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Charbray Association Australia