Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Partners in lamb

Once considered the ‘black sheep’ of the lamb industry, Western Australia’s Q Lamb is now one of the country’s leading meat alliances, with farmers, processors and retailers working together to satisfy the customer.

By Therese Hall

A decade ago, the Western Australian lamb industry was plagued by problems. A glut of lamb in spring was followed by an inevitable shortage in winter. Product range was limited and the meat was often too fatty. In short, consumers were not happy. “We had to accept that we had problems and take the industry somewhere else,” says the inaugural chairman of industry alliance Q Lamb, Reg Crabb.

Today the industry has arrived “somewhere else”, with the Q Lamb alliance bringing together producers, processors and retailers, and resulting in consistent, quality lamb for the consumer. “In the beginning we were only interested in working with partners who were prepared to make substantial change. They needed to have the passion to see it through or we would have failed,” Reg says. “Fortunately we had that from the start.” According to Reg, who now works as a field development officer for Q Lamb, “we had to turn everything upside down and start again”. In 1995, 11 farmers from the Mount Barker area of south-west Western Australia aligned with meat processor Peter Trefort, of Narrogin, 200km south-east of Perth, under the tutelage of LAMBPLAN assessor Allan Jarman. “Allan came to me looking for a processor who wanted to work with farmers,” Peter says. “Because I am a farmer at heart, I understand farmers." Story end

Full story OUTBACK Issue 37 October/November 2004

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