Home Paddock Meats
Red Meat Value+d Program 1
5 Sept 2022
Family beef producers, Chris and Kelly Akers moved from Victoria to Southern Queensland about five years ago after fifteen years operating a family farming business. They are located in Southern Queensland running a beef enterprise producing British and Euro crossbred cattle into the local weaner market. In recent years, drought has significantly impacted on their breeder numbers and they are in a period of rebuilding their breeder herd and pastures. When Kelly joined the Stage 2 program, she said that they were “looking for ways to do justice to the animals they were producing” through value adding with a focus on their sustainable agriculture credentials and values. They have always wanted to brand their own beef and provide consumers with a paddock to plate experience. Kelly also said at the start of the Stage 2 program “we have spent twenty years focussing on the day to day running of the farming business, it’s time for us to get out of the paddock and focus on making more with what we have”.
During the program Kelly carried out extensive Customer Discovery, validating assumptions about her customer segment and persona whilst garnering a thorough understanding of her market and making changes to her solution in response. Home Paddock Meats customers are busy mums seeking convenience, quality, value for money, healthy and inspiring dinner options for their families. They provide farm-raised sustainable beef hampers, portioned into convenient meal sizes and vacuum packed to help prevent food waste by keeping the beef fresher for longer.
In Stage 2 Kelly learned the basics of the Business Model Canvas tool and dive deep into her customers, market and solution and started to form a brand identity. Stage 3 helped her get really clear on her brand identity and values, as well as develop a robust Go2Market strategy with a goal to have minimum viable product into the market in quarter one of 2023. Kelly was able to dive deep into the value chain components needed to bring her dream to reality through a greater understanding of carcass modelling, processing and packing, alignment with consumer value proposition, cold chain logistics and consumer engagement through marketing. Kelly also learned about food labelling and safety requirements which have contributed to her plans for processing, packing and distribution through contract and mobile arrangements. Like many producers in the program, access to service processing and packing services are a major challenge, as well as the satisfactory delivery of these services to a quality standard. This has driven a focus on in-housing rather than outsourcing where possible in the initial business launch.
Kelly was able to identify gain-oriented opportunities for her customers to enable them to have shopping lists, seasonally-based menu cards and content marketing to engage them on how to prepare meals utilising all the cuts provided in a boxed beef offering. Similarly, the business has built a distribution strategy that leverages farmer’s markets for ongoing customer discovery and promotional opportunity, reinforced by feedback from a founders panel in the course of the program. She is also seeking to create diversification and risk management, through a core boxed beef market operating alongside an additional customer who is a chain partner with a commercial kitchen located in an educational and tourism-oriented facility.
The program also delivered value to Kelly through allowing her to address governance and risk management facets of her business and access learning from producers and product innovators who have been on the same journey that she is currently embarking on.
Kelly has garnered significant benefit from the adoption of a project management tool to manage all the various facets of bringing her brand to market, this is also facilitating the process of forecasting a comprehensive budget plan in the short to medium-term.
The F2F value+d program has been a massive learning curve on the best way we can start our own branded beef business. From nothing more than an idea that definitely would have taken years to get off the ground and that's if it got that far to in 11 months we will be going to market with our beef hampers to a customer segment we understand and a brand we feel very passionate about.
Over the next six-months, Home Paddock Meats will be concentrating on:
• Trialling and finalising processing and packing processing with cold chain logistics, including purchase and certification of mobile cold-room equipment as well as packing and labelling equipment, based on learning from Sydney face to face program component.
• Finalising brand identify and e-commerce website and social media engagement platforms including initial landing page to capture customer interest and create first CRM database.
• Developing marketing plan and content, including seasonal recipe cards and “story behind the brand” content around the paddock to plate nature of the business reinforcing the locally produced, family farm, and regenerative agriculture practices value set.
• Continuing her commitment to customer discovery and the build, measure, learning process in continuing refining the business.
• MVP from four beef bodies to be processed into boxed offerings of various compositions, are proposed to be launched in the market during 1Q 2023. A ‘soft launch’ is planned for Australia Day long weekend for limited product to road test processes and systems.
• Planning out past six-months to twelve-months and aligning production planning and management of the livestock side of the business to suit. Kelly also wants to explore long-term what other on-farm value adding might be viable, such as agri-tourism or food service related initiatives.