Feed the man meat | Rabobank Australia Client
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#ThankAFarmer: Feed the man, and woman and child, meat!

Beef producers Fred and Anna Appleton are giving consumers access to enough premium organic meat to make up about 15 million meal portions each year.

There’s been no slow-down in their business since the onset of Covid-19, so consumers can continue to enjoy their steaks, roasts, stews and hamburgers, or whatever other beef meal takes their fancy.

Fred and Anna, along with other family members, are all partners in Appleton Cattle Co, which runs around 40,000 head of cattle on about 234,000 hectares.

The cattle are bred on a number of properties run by Fred’s brother and sister-in-law, before being transported to Fred and Anna’s properties near Alpha in central Queensland for fattening and eventually sale.

They sell about 8000 animals annually primarily to Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co, a leading Australian supplier of premium quality certified organic and natural meat, for consumption in both Australia and the US.

“That’s been pretty consistent over the years, even during the dryer years, although the weight goes down a bit when it’s dry,” Fred said.

And this year, it’s no different, with Anna pointing out that Covid-19 hasn’t had any major impact on their business.

“For us, nothing has changed and we are working at the same pace,” Anna said.

“Australia produces enough food to both feed ourselves and to export, so I don’t see there being a shortage any time.”

For Fred and Anna, business as usual means continuing to operate to the standards required for their organic certification, with no chemical inputs or hormones in their cattle or chemicals in their land, while also meeting animal welfare standards under Global Animal Partnership certification.

Covid-19 hasn’t been without some impact on the family personally though, with all four of their children – in Year 4 to Year 9 – now all doing their school work from home.

Because of their remote location, distance education was the only option for all of their children during their primary school years before they could head off to boarding school for their secondary education.

“Our oldest two daughters should be in boarding school, but they are home now because of Covid-19,” Anna said.

In addition to her personal experiences with her own children, Anna’s involvement with the Isolated Children and  Parents Association as Treasurer of the both the local branch and Queensland state council has made her keenly aware of the challenges facing any parents needing to home school – in either rural or urban areas.


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