Red Meat Value+d Program 1
5 Sept 2022
Georgina Baker is a red meat producer and entrepreneur on a mission to reinvent the beef sausage by creating a healthy, delicious and affordable organic red meat option. She is the founder of Bello Beef, grown from Levenvale Farm located in Bellingen (NSW). Bello Beef is a regenerative, certified organic grass fed and finished beef brand creating a range of premium, nutrient dense value-added products including gourmet sausages, mince, bone broth and other nose to tail offerings.
Bello Beef is targeting the 30-50 year old males and females with an illness history themselves or that of a family member (including nutritional deficiencies and dietary restrictions). This segment indulge in their health and wellness, prioritise their spending on food, going to the gym, taking nutritional supplements and spending time in the outdoors. Bello Beef has been able to establish a strong and loyal customer base by deeply understanding their needs and motivations through the techniques of customer discovery and continues to have a key focus on ensuring that all products contribute to the brand’s value proposition around provenance, connection to the producer and only using real ingredients.
During stage three of the program, the core focus of Bello Beef was to establish efficient systems in order to be able to scale their sausage range. However, the business was struggling to do this with originally only using a small part of the carcase (and only sourcing from their own farm). A key achievement for Bello Beef was the refinement and eventual pivot to split the business into core streams of operation, evolving the scaling of sausages through a different value chain and channel, whilst continuing to grow the D2C beef business with own supply of animals. This helped Bello Beef to clearly distinguish between the two arms of the business and strategically source the inputs for each through different supply chains. In doing this, Bello Beef has been able to overcome supply and capacity constraints and has now sourced organic trim from other producers. In addition, the business has leased a commercial kitchen increasing production volume to 50kg per day; hired a chef to help with recipe development and a personal assistant to help with business administration and day to day running of operations allowing Georgina to focus on thew businesses growth strategy.
Other key achievements for the business during this time has also been:
• Outsourcing of branding, label and packaging design with an agency to develop the full range of value-added products including core, gourmet and mince plus ranges
• Through contract manufacturing research and formation of new strategic partnerships with kitchens has been able to secure and launch new broth product range with production completely outsourced
• Sensory evaluation of sausage range conducted
• Building of freezer room on farm
• Progress on on-farm licenses
• Recruitment of new employee to pack boxes
• Connections made with packaging suppliers, ingredient houses, contract manufacturers for sausage production, POS systems and commercial manufacturing machinery
The value+d program has given me the networks and linked me in with direct sources of information so that I have the framework to grow our value-added beef products. There are so many industry experts I didn’t even know existed and Farmers2Founders have not only fond them but enabled us to have direct contact and guidance from some invaluable industry resources.
During the program, the F2F program manager supported Georgina to run a live focus group with several real customers of the business which helped to give new direction and insights for packaging, claims hierarchy and labelling. Similarly, the support of the team has helped Bello Beef to identify new recipe development concepts, grant opportunities and new channels into retail stores. In the program, Bello Beef added an additional six retail stores to double wholesale production and now has set a clear target of growing distribution to 20 health food stores and other speciality retailers on the mid-north coast.
Over the next six months, Bello Beef has set to achieve 2tonne in red meat production per month by mid-2023 in their sausages and mince range, as well as increasing to 1 tonne of full body processing per month (minimum of 5 bodies at $7K per body) forecasting $1M in Bello Beef sales. To do this the business will be prioritising:
• Continued expansion of value-added product ranges such as international flavoured broths
• Continue to build logistics partnerships and secure distributor to target larger retail chain stores in Sydney and Brisbane such as Harris Farm and Flannerys
• Prepare to pitch to Harris Farm in June 2023 once they have established freezer distribution and warehousing
• Develop marketing strategy through outsourced capabilities and refine retail promotional plan
• Explore partnership with kitchen to create new nose to tail products, explore investment in oven and pasteurising equipment and automated patty machinery