PITCH in the Paddock finalist Chris Balazs is a true champion of the ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy and business model.
To make this happen he even put the abattoir on wheels.
Food provenance and the ability to identify where your steak came from is a rising trend amongst Australian and overseas consumers.
As chief executive officer for FarmGate MSU, Mr Balazs pitched the companies mobile slaughter unit (MSU), which, he said, will reduce length of the supply chain and animal stress, while ensuring full traceability of the product from the farmers paddock, to the diners plate.
Read more: First place at pitch in the paddock
The inaugural Pitch in the Paddock was held at Rockhampton, Qld.
In a style, similar to the television show Shark Tank, eight finalists pitched their start-up companies to a panel of judges and a packed Beef 2018 audience.
Mr Balazs said on-farm processed beef was the next step for the industry.
“We are opening the gate to the next level of premium quality beef,” he said.
“I am a farmer from western Victoria, I produce premium quality cattle and I sell those cattle direct to my customers plate.”
“Conscientious consumers purchase my product because of the quality, the provenance and the animal welfare criteria we cover off on.”
However, Mr Balazs said other ‘paddock to plate’ models actually go from the paddock to trucks, abattoir and butchers before they get to the plate.
“Live transport costs, as does a lack of access to abattoirs,” he said,
“So I present to you, Australia’s first truly mobile on-farm processing unit.
“This enables us to create a new category of meat, on-farm processed.”
Mr Balazs said the meat produced from the FarmGate MSU will be branded ‘Proviner’.
“The MSU arrives on the farm, where we purchase from our network of farmers,” he said.
“Then on the farm, in a calm, stress free, familiar environment, the animals are processed.
“From there the resulting carcasses are transported back to a central hub via a refrigerated vehicle.
“At the hub, further butchering, packaging and branding occurs.
The meat is then transported to the customer, along with the ‘paddock to plate’ traceability and story, he said.
Mr Balazs said farmers, customers and chefs were already on board.
“Key industry stakeholders have also been supportive, the like of the RSCPA,” he said.
Mr Balazs said it would be about ten months until they would commence sales.
“We will then have the meat on the shelves of top supermarkets and butchers,” he said.
“And gracing the menu of top restaurants as well.”