Meet Fred & Sarah from Benedale Farm

Meet Fred & Sarah from Benedale Farm

Tam Kipping

Have you ever found yourself standing in the supermarket wondering which chicken is the best to buy for your family BBQ or weeknight stir fry?  


What are the differences in purchasing free range? Will they really taste any different? Does it matter? Supermarket brands are so good at the marketing of conventional farmed brands that sometimes we think we’re making a better choice but more often than not, it’s all just a gimmick.  

Our customers shop with us because transparency and education is always at the forefront. Afterall, we want to know what ends up in our stomachs. This is why we love sharing exactly where our products come from and introducing you to your local farmers. We spend a lot of time forming valuable partnerships with our farmers so that we are able to bring “only the best” to your dinner plates each night.  

So let’s talk birds - because if you don’t already, it’s time to give a cluck!

Meet Fred & Sarah...

Fred and Sarah Stern and their family run Bendele Farm at Kilkivan, near Gympie. Bendele grow free range and organic poultry including, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. 

With over 85% of chickens in Australia being raised on intensive chicken farms, we are proud to stock organic and pasture raised chickens, ducks, spatchcocks and turkeys from a local, small, family and certified farm. Bendele Farm carries certification and believes in the ethical raising of their poultry. With only 1% of chickens in Australia being certified organic, we feel privileged to be a supplier of Bendele products, and having them situated so close to our shop location adds to our fortune.     

With one important grain in the diet of a chicken being difficult and expensive to source in a certified organic form, Fred & Sarah are unable to feed all of their chickens with a 100% certified organic diet. Therefore, they label their poultry as either free-range or organic, with the only difference being the replacement of just one non-certified ingredient in the bird’s grain diet. Bendele's Hinterland range of ducks and turkeys - which are free range - are brought up in the same way as the organic chickens, the only difference is the feed. All poultry is pasture raised without the use of antibiotics and growth promotants and their supplementary feed contains no GMO’s. This gives us peace of mind, knowing what went into (or didn’t go into) the chicken that we are consuming. 

Ethical Farming stands at the forefront...

Chickens on the farm have an area equivalent of 25 sq metres of pasture each, unlike many other free-range chickens who squash into just ONE square metre between 20 of them (equivalent of one bird per piece of A4 paper). The poultry at Bendele are free to roam. Housing sheds are set up for protection, where feed and watering lines are also kept, however, the birds are free to move about as they please. Allowing them to scratch, pick and enjoy nature - doing what chickens do naturally, without the interference of restricted housing or cages.    


The Stern’s hand process the poultry on their farm, from the pens to the abattoir, which means that there is no stress for the poultry in travelling to a slaughter house. In addition to this, no chlorine or bleaches are used during processing. This all lends itself to better eating quality and is evident in the tenderness and flavour of the poultry. And the best bit about having our poultry farmers so close? At Sunshine Coast Organic Meats, we have Bendele poultry in our shop ready to purchase all within 24 hours from the start of processing. This makes the process as simple and seamless as possible - from the farm - to our shop - to your plate!