Shorter Lead Times = More Risk for Farmers

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Shorter Lead times = more risk for the farmers!

… I was messaged today by one of our larger farmers.

He’s looking to decrease his average time from ordering to delivery.

In the traditional “farmer to fridge” model the farmer sells a whole cow.. or multiple whole cows.. books them into an abattoir and once the sale is complete and off they go.

Now, usually you can’t just rock up to an abattoir.. there’s a wait list and a schedule and all that. So it might be a week or two past the sale date. Then the normal process starts which takes between 2 to 3 weeks to go from cow to good tasting beef.

So by this point you’re at between 4 and 6 weeks before the courier delivers your order to your door.

Customer…. sad because they had to wait.

Farmer… protected because no portion of their cow or cows was unsold.

… If part of the cow isn’t sold it gets stuck at the butcher.. which leads to very angry butchers .. (space is always a premium and a side of beef is big)

So some options in that case.

1. Keep it (works once every 6 months or so)

2. Discounted sides or packs.

3. Sell it to the butcher

4. Mince it and sell it that way (usually at a loss)

If the farmer IS the butcher then it’s a little easier but it doesn’t completely eliminate the risks.

When we do our 5kg boxes.. only about half sell when the cow is booked in… which is why most farms don’t do them. Then it’s a mad scramble on the last week to sell them all.

So far so good but one day I’ll be stuck with 20, 5kg boxes and an angry missus 😃

If we could guarantee every farm from every cow would sell then we could get lead times down to a week Max overnight.. and we do see this happening with larger farms in NSW as their volumes pick up!

So hopefully you all understand the process a bit more…. and if you have a solution let me know!!!

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