Marketing our Beef

John Reading – East Knoyle Herd

Meeting other Red Poll breeders is extremely worthwhile and not all the chat needs to be about the finer points of breeding. There is interesting information to be gained about how we all market our beef and most interestingly for how much. Now I write this in a spirit of transparency really to spark a response from as many as possible to gauge how we all do it. Sharing knowledge with as many as possible may enable us to learn new ways and hopefully earn a bit more by it. I am more concerned here about the pricing of beef boxes as any sale to the consumer must pay more than anything else. Now there are several ways of doing this I am sure but the most simple must be supplying a 10kg box which contains a complete selection of the more common cuts. Obviously one gets a bit left over but if you are slaughtering a 550kg beast you could get 300kgs on the hook and 150kgs in your boxes, with more than likely enough for the deepfreeze left over for you.

Now asking other members what they charge seems to settle somewhere between £10 and £12/kg so basically £100 to £120 per box and grossing between £1500 and £1800 per beast (plus what you keep). Slaughter and vacuum packing could be somewhere between £300 and £500. So we get a much better return than ABP or your friendly butcher. Now I have gone a bit further and looked at butchers’ pricing mainly for online sales and costing out a sample of representative boxes that we have sold in the past and it appears that the figure per kilo comes to £15 to £16. If you were organic for instance the online supplier might want £19/kg.

Now I am sure many of you will think well we know all this already but my reason for working through it all is to ask all of us if in fact we are either not charging enough or are just happy providing an extremely well/low priced and delicious product. Maybe we can all charge a little more when you think our currency is weak having dropped 15/20% in the last 15 months, food inflation is up over 2% in August according to the papers and RPI 2.8%. We are not only selling a meat product but we are marketing a native breed exhibiting excellent marbling, invariably grass fed which has been reared on the farm of origin in a natural environment with high welfare standards and conditions which mean that it is at its peak for the consumer. We so often hide our light under a bushel in farming in this country, let’s be proud of what we produce and get paid the right price for it.

I hope this may open up a forum of discussion, as said an exchange of opportunities and ideas where we all can learn from each other.

Taken from our Newsletter No. 109, Winter  2017

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Get in touch