Team Te Mania and Rangers Valley, striving for high end beef

Team Te Mania producers, Jon and Karen Jackson, Woolsthorpe, Vic with Rangers Valley’s Andrew Malloy and Keith Howe, and Emma and Richard McFarlane, Tailem Bend, SA, display their Black Market product, Marble Score 6 & 7.  Photo by Alastair Dowie, Stock and Land.

 “Rangers Valley Black Market beef makes the cut”, reports Alastair Dowie, Stock and Land, 18 June 2018.

A close relationship between Rangers Valley and the Team Te Mania group is proving a valuable one for both parties.

Participants at the recent Team Te Mania – Future Beef Production Workshop, had the experience of tasting sire-identified, Rangers Valley Black Market Angus beef from two Team Te Mania members.

The beef came from Jan and Karen Jackson, Toolong, Woolsthorpe, and Richard and Emma McFarlane, Wellington Lodge, Tailem Bend, South Australia.

Rangers Valley Managing Director, Keith Howe, said the specification for the Angus brand was long-feed (270 days), producing Black Onyx (marble score 3-4) and the company’s Black Market (marble score 5+).

The brand has become well recognised with high end executive chefs around the world looking for Angus beef with that high marbling score.

Mr Howe said of the about 30,000 carcases produced to specification, only around 3600 made the Black Market brand.

“The marbled beef category is constantly growing and what Rangers Valley is majoring in is Angus with a high marble score,” he said.

“It’s quite unique in Australia. There is no one who is feeding Angus cattle for 270 days.

“I sell the product to executive chefs as a product with a point of difference, with a highly verified Angus product with high marble score.

Mr Howe said there was only a small percentage of product that went into the marble score 7, 8 and 9 categories.

Mr Howe said Rangers Valley was asked to provide meat for the dinner, to give producers a chance to taste their own beef.

“That day we had a high percentage of progeny test cattle in the kill and that resulted in some very special carcases on the floor – a marble score 6 and a marble score 7 product,” he said.

“Progeny test cattle are important for us as we collaborate with Te Mania. We know that loop is vitally important to continue to reflect the improvement in genetics.

“Our role and commitment is to make sure we get that information back to Te Mania team.

Mr Howe said Rangers Valley had an integrated supply chain and collaborated with others to produce this premium product.

“The Te Mania group is a very important part of our branded position,” he said.

“We want to grow that product each year and we share information so that everyone can share in that success.

“I spend my time across the supply chain and talking to customers around the world. We have much more demand for these brands than what we can produce at the moment.

“What is important is how can we produce more of these carcases in the future.

“The growth will continue to build our longevity and our brand strength to deliver value adding back to Te Mania members as they work with Rangers Valley.”

Mr Howe said Rangers Valley was a long term operator, running the feedlot for more than 30 years.

When purchased by the Marubeni Corporation in 1988 there were about 4000 head of cattle on feed, today that there was 32,000 to 33,000 on site and additional custom feeding off site.

“We are growing our business against the demand, not limiting our growth by the capacity at Rangers Valley,” Mr Howe said.

“We only growing at a rate that we can ensure we produce the right product.

“We don’t change our grading to meet orders or specific brands requirements – if we don’t produce the product, we don’t sell the product.

“What’s in our DNA is unique and is what makes Rangers Valley one of the most recognised beef brands around the world,” he said.

Video : Richard McFarlane, Wellington Lodge and Jon Jackson, Toolong discuss Team Te Mania program

Mr Howe congratulated the producers whose beef was served for the dinner for the effort they put into the progeny test program and the value that created.

“It’s great to see carcases of this quality coming into the Rangers Valley supply chain.”

Rangers Valley procurement manager, Andrew Malloy, said it was important that all the information garnished from these carcases was underpinning the full benefit for the rest of the team.

The progeny test arrangement was unique to Team Te Mania

“The robustness of that data and the extra measurements we go through to demonstrate the worth of those animals is very important to us,” Mr Malloy said.

Mr Malloy said there had been a marked increase in quality from a Team Te Mania perspective into the Black Market range.

“In the past four years we’ve seen Team Te Mania’s percentage of that brand increase from around 12 per cent to around 20pc.”