As Australia’s first commercially licensed mobile on-farm butcher, Provenir’s on farm processing model began out of an acknowledgement amongst its founders that there were much better alternatives to the way that things were being done within the modern Australian industrial meat processing industry. This didn’t just include the way that animals are treated in their final months and days. While animal welfare, transparency and provenance are the at the centre of the ethos that led to Provenir’s creation, the founders knew that there was an opportunity to combat the issue of waste in the modern meat industry at the same time. Along with the goal of facilitating more ethical outcomes for animals, farmers and consumers, Provenir took a new nose to tail approach not seen before on a commercial scale in Australia. The resulting carcase resource maximisation strategy is driven by a commitment to honouring the whole animal – ensuring that everything is utilised and nothing is wasted.
In Australia’s industrial meat processing industry the harvesting of animals for meat requires (in 99.9% of instances) transport to a fixed abattoir, often over great distances and with several steps in between. Each of these steps creates unnecessary stress for the animal, impacting meat quality along the way.
Provenir’s true farm to table meat provides an alternative to this system which enables beef cattle to be processed slowly, calmly and kindly in their own familiar farm environments. This is achieved through Provenir’s national-first commercially licensed mobile on farm abattoir. While the team at Provenir could have considered their task complete at this point, they were aware that simply taking the sought-after cuts of beef and discarding the rest didn’t quite complete the holistic, ethical meat picture that they had worked for such a long time to achieve. Both for the farmers who dedicate their lives to caring for these animals and for the beasts themselves, the prospect of waste as is so commonplace in the wider beef industry seemed to be something of an injustice.
The choice of top chefs around the country, Provenir beef is destined for the dinner plates of consumers who value the quality, health benefits, provenance and ethical implications of the food they consume. However, with the best steak and premium beef cuts only accounting for 7.5% of the beef animal, Provenir’s on farm butcher process also involves the careful allocation of the myriad remaining meat cuts and offal. We discussed the Provenir approach to lesser-known cuts in our previous article, The wonderful world of artisan beef cuts and how to cook them;
“Everyone knows of the popular cuts of beef such as eye fillet, scotch fillet steak, porterhouse steak and topside roast. However, within a whole beef carcase there are a range of lesser-known cuts of beef that have incredible flavour and can be used to create a range of truly special home cooked recipes. These beef cuts can be a little harder to find and are (unfortunately) often used for mince. We believe that these cuts should be celebrated (and enjoyed!) rather than being relegated to minced beef and whole heartedly believe that these alternative cuts of beef create some of the best dishes.”
Alternative beef roast cuts, beef short ribs, stir fry strips, beef brisket and of course minced beef are all cuts that are commonplace in the cooking repertoire of Provenir’s customers. However, a burgeoning health movement has also meant that alternative products and additional lesser-known cuts are growing in popularity. As a part of Provenir’s carcase utilisation strategy a variety of offal cuts are available including beef heart, grass fed liver, kidney, beef tongue and ox tail. This enables consumers the ability to buy beef organs online for delivery to their door within Australia, knowing that they are from the most ethical source. These grass fed beef organ products can be traced through the provenance system right back to the farm on which they were raised. Provenir also proudly supplies other health food producers, including the Vital Origin range of organ supplements.
Although it might not be something that the average consumer gives much thought to, perhaps the most significant contributor to meat processing waste in the mainstream meat industry is the large amount of excess fat and bones that inevitably form the bulk of each animal’s physical composition. At Provenir it is important that the bones, skin and other parts of the body that aren’t typically used for human consumption also find a productive use. Grass fed beef bones – which are again becoming well known for their health benefits – are utilised through two key products. Consumers can buy grass fed bone marrow online (which is both delicious when prepared correctly and extremely nutritious) as well as a second product produced from these grass-fed beef bones – Provenir Best Broth. Growing in popularity as a healthier cooking alternative to vegetable oils, excess fat from the carcase is rendered into Provenir’s The Good Fat, a grass fed tallow product. With the help of a local artisan tanner, Provenir also processes the hides of the animal to create their bespoke cow hide rugs. These are both beautiful as a statement piece in the home and are also incredibly tough and long wearing – a shame not to be utilised to its fullest potential.
Although this now presents a diverse breakdown of the animal through a range of traditional beef cuts, bones, fat and beef offal, it still doesn’t quite complete the picture. The remainder of the animal represents a further set of underutilised parts that are not typically processed for human consumption, including skin that may not be suitable for a tanned hide, head, other connective tissues, legs and the tail. To account for each of these, Provenir work with ethical dog treat company Gully Road for Dogs, whose range of zero waste natural dog treats ensure that every last part of the beast is utilised. For example, Gully Road’s Sexy Legs account for the leg and hoof of the animal, their Snotters the nose of the cow as well as other natural dog chews comprising the ears, achilles tendons, oesophagus, tail, tripe, tongue, lung, trachea and a variety of other bones which are available as both raw and dehydrated natural dog treat products.
The processing of each beast at Provenir involves a complex allocation system which requires careful consideration and appropriate preparation of each part of the beast (of which there is a surprisingly diverse quantity!). Artisan butchery techniques are focused on maximising the range of cuts harvested from each beast with the intention of delivering the best outcomes for animals, farmers and consumers alike. Combined with low stress processing and advanced hanging techniques this on farm butcher process is designed to maximise yield, tenderness and overall meat quality. The result of this process is true farm to table beef which also maximises and fully utilises the potential of each animal.