A sizzling steak on the barbecue is a familiar part of Aussie life, so it’s no surprise that we as a nation are the biggest meat-eaters in the world. Australians consume on average 90.21 kilograms of meat per person every year, beating our American cousins by 170 grams.
Breaking it down, we each eat about 26 kilograms of beef every year, collectively spending about $8.5 billion on beef products. Cattle in Australia arrived with the First Fleet back in 1788. Now it accounts for more than half of Australia’s agricultural activity, according to the ABC.
For two years running, NSW producers Jack’s Creek took out the world’s best steak for its beautifully marbled rib-eye crossbred Wagyu. They family-run business from the Liverpool Plains became one of the first Australian companies to begin producing Wagyu beef and now exports its Wagyu and Black Angus goods all over the world.
So what helps keep local beef at the top of the list? There are many reasons why Aussie beef has unmistakeable taste, tenderness and quality. Firstly, Australia has rigorous food safety and animal welfare standards that support “clean and green” top-quality produce. There’s the natural framework of wide-open pastures that supports sustainable and good quality natural grazing environments.
Then there’s quality control measures to reassure consumers about beef production, such as the Cattle Council of Australia’s Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System, indicated by a logo featuring a cow with three green ticks, which requires that cattle are have access to graze open pasture and are free from growth hormones and antibiotics, as well as assessing other animal handling aspects that may affect welfare and eating quality.
And the best reason to keep it homegrown is that it not only supports local businesses but helps to reduce carbon footprints from food transport, too.