Agribusiness, Food & Trade

Beefing up WA’s premium meat opportunities

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Western Australian Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry and Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio

Organic and biodynamic, Wagyu and beef based meat snacks have been prioritised as significant areas of focus to grow Western Australia’s value-added premium beef sector.

Working together with Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company (MDC) the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Food Industry Innovation project (FII) will deliver the Premium Beef Project.

Aligned with the state government’s intent to enable the primary industries sector and regions to increase international competitiveness and grow in value and MDC’s plans to grow the premium beef sector this project aims to assist willing participants along the WA supply chain of these three priority areas to develop by becoming more coordinated and market orientated.

Based on the findings and insights from the Premium Market Opportunities report, commissioned by the FII project in 2016 the first phase of the Premium Beef Project will validate these three premium opportunities across the supply and value chains and consult with beef industry stakeholders on issues, opportunities and challenges to achieving growth in these priority segments.

“The initial phase of the project will guide the application of resourcing to help facilitate development of the premium beef supply and value chain” DPIRD’s Western Australian Premium Food Centre manager Jon Berry said.

“Independent market research shows Wagu beef, organic and biodynamic beef and snack manufacturing (such as beef jerkies, biltong and sticks) are experiencing increasing consumer demand internationally, especially in Asia. 

“Although operators within these sectors in WA are typically smaller scale in comparison to mainstream beef production, WA’s ‘clean and green’ reputation augers well for industry growth as demand for protein increases as a result of higher incomes in Asia”.

 A report will be completed by late July 2018, which will identify:

  • ‘real’ long term strategic competitive advantages for WA beef premium production
  • key market leading ‘value add’ opportunities for premium beef products that leverage competitive advantages
  • what the market is demanding, rather than what the production system is generating
  • “willing participants” who seek to pursue the opportunities matched to consumer demand – this will be drawn out by personal interviews at the enterprise level
  • premium product buyers - what are they wanting and explore how this can be delivered by WA producers
  • specific opportunities that the FII project and other parts of DPIRD can engage with to progress premium beef industry growth in a meaningful and tangible way.

For more information about the WA Premium Beef project please contact Jon Berry on phone +61 (08) 9899 9283 or email