FAQ'sFrequently Asked Questions
What is Free Range?
When WE say ‘Free Range’ we mean that the animals live in FAMILY GROUPS on PASTURES in LOW DENSITIES. Despite the misleading labelling by the big players, real ‘Free Range’ doesn’t happen in a shed – it happens on pastures where animals freely express their instinctive behaviours. In order to counteract the wealth of misleading information out there, we are leaning toward the use of the term ‘PASTURE RAISED’ as a way to describe our meats. This confirms that the animal has lived its life outside on pasture and not in sheds. It doesn’t mean having ‘access’ to pasture but actually spending the majority of their time OUTDOORS with access to shelter as required.Did you know that over 90% of Australian grown pigs are raised in intensive farming systems? Eeek.
What is Organic?
Organic is everything free-range (as above) and MORE. It is also about additional animal welfare standards, socially responsible and sustainable farming, and naturally grown animals. This means no GMOs, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones, growth promotants or antibiotics. In fact, only 1% of chickens grown in Australia are certified organic!
Why is organic certification important?
Organic certification is proof. It protects consumers from misleading claims and is the mark of a genuine organic product which has been audited all along the production chain from paddock to plate, to comply with strict organic standards. Whilst some farmers do follow organic principles without the certification, it is the certification process that ensures EVERY step is followed and that a guarantee is provided.
What is the difference between Grass-fed and Grass-finished?
When WE say grass-fed, we mean that the animal has GRAZED FREELY on PASTURE throughout its life and is not the product of a feedlot or grain feeding regime. Close to slaughter time our farmer brings the stock into smaller paddocks to monitor their growth, and it is here, only when there is insufficient fresh pasture (such as during extreme weather conditions like drought or flooding) that access to certified organic sprouted grains and grass heads are made available. ANIMAL WELFARE is crucial in organic farming and no animals will be allowed to go hungry if there is insufficient fresh grass to graze on. Conventional so-called ‘grass-fed’ beef is actually permitted be finished on grain, in a feed lot, for up to 70 days.
What does Sustainable managed mean?
This means that the farm is managed using practices designed to build and reinforce independent SOIL HEALTH, vitality and water carrying capacity with as few inputs as possible, thereby nurturing resilience and breaking dependency on expensive chemical treatments. The farmers carry SUSTANIABLE STOCKING DENSITIES that are responsive to season and low enough to allow proper animal welfare and for soil and pastures to remain healthy without the use of artificial inputs such as herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers and hormone growth promotants. Animals are often rotated onto fresh pasture to allow soil and LAND REGENERATION and give them regular access to fresh green pick.
What steps are taken to ensure high quality Animal Welfare?
Being certified means that our farmers are required to meet a series of high standards relating to animal welfare. Stocking densities, access to the outdoors, protection from predators, freedom from mutilations (tail docking, nose rings etc) are just some of the standards that our farmers adhere to. Additionally, and importantly, the slaughter process is done as humanely as possible, either on the farm or close by. Slaughter practices are also monitored by certification and the methods vary greatly to those used by the majority of larger slaughter facilities in Australia.
Is there a connection between conventional meats and health/behavioural disorders?
We can’t say if, and what, any connection may be however the testimonials of hundreds of our customers certainly support the belief that eating organically has a major influence of health and behavioural issues. We will let you do your own research in this area, however the fact that there are approximately 8700 registered agricultural chemicals and hormones for use in Australian food production, as well as many more unregistered chemicals, is certainly of concern.
Why does certified free range and organic meat cost more?
You may be pleasantly surprised that, due to the popularity and high turnover of our products, that our meats are not hugely more expensive than conventional meats. However, we do pay a lot more for our meat than regular butchers and supermarkets, and here is why:
- Greater labour inputs are required and time is money.
- Not only are organic farms typically smaller than conventional ones, but it also takes more time to get the animals to market size, as farmers refrain from using the chemicals and growth hormones that are routinely used by conventional farmers.
- Organic supply is limited compared to demand.
- There are higher standards of animal welfare.
- Costs of certified organic and GMO free feed.
- Lower stocking densities.
- Costs of certification
How are you different to other butchers?
Our business has been operating for over 20 years, so while there’s many emerging players in the organic and free-range field, we are the experts and have built a reputation of trust and quality. We have only a small handful of farmers who supply our shop and we know each farmer personally and have visited their farms. Our farmers are Queensland’s best, and they know about the best breeds for quality eating and are passionate about clean, ethical farming. We don’t just buy in boxes of meat from unknown locations, like most meat suppliers do, we buy in full bodies and our talented butchers bone them and present the cuts immaculately for our customers.