Location: Chinchilla, Qld
Capacity: 25,000 SCU
2014 turnover: 90,000 head (estimate)
2003 Top 25 position: 17 (capacity 13,000 head)
THE vertically-integrated Stanbroke Beef business owned and operated by the Menegazzo family includes the 25,000-SCU capacity Stanbroke feedlot near Chinchilla, Queensland.
Stanbroke claims to be the largest privately owned vertically-integrated beef supply chain in Australia, owning and operating all stages of the beef production chain from its extensive breeding and growing properties in Queensland’s Gulf country, to the feedlot, the Stanbroke export abattoir at Grantham and a meat wholesale/export business servicing customers across the globe.
Formerly known as Bottletree, the feedlot was built by previous Stanbroke Pastoral Co owners, the AMP Society, in 1994. The Menegazzo family assumed ownership of the feedlot and a portfolio of former AMP-owned northern grazing properties in 2004. On acquiring Stanbroke, the late Peter Menegazzo consolidated by merging with his existing pastoral interests in Queensland’s Gulf region.
The original AMP-owned Stanbroke Pastoral Co had forged its reputation as “the world’s largest beef producer” on grassfed beef, so it came as a somewhat surprising and controversial move when former managing director, the late John Cox, announced in 1993 that the company planned to build a feedlot.
Prior to Bottletree, Stanbroke had fed some cattle in other yards, but feedlot space could be difficult and sometimes impossible to find in Queensland during times of drought.
“The decision to construct a feedlot took place during an era when there was a lot of tradition, pride and satisfaction in finishing big grassfed bullocks,” former Stanbroke director and prominent beef processor Ian Kennedy recalled.
Some staff and management evidently did not like the idea of consigning young steers to the feedlot, instead of ‘finishing the job’ themselves.
“They felt they lost the prestige attached to sending their grass-finished cattle off to market. But the investment in lotfeeding obviously opened up a new aspect for company operations, with a range of associated benefits,” Mr Kennedy said.
Around the same time as the feedlot was constructed, Stanbroke Pastoral Co was also exploring new channels in other areas, launching a composite breeding program blending complementary meat quality genetics into its northern Brahman and Santa herds, and establishing a meat wholesale/retail business in Brisbane.
All this contributed to the company’s move into lotfeeding, which also helped protect against seasonal variation.
At the time of its construction in 1994, the Bottletree (later Stanbroke) feedlot had a built capacity for 10,000 head. But milling, commodities, silage storage and other infrastructure was always designed with greater capacity in mind.
There have been several expansions in operating capacity over the years, most recently to 25,000 Standard Cattle Units – the full extent of the site’s current feedlot license. Beef Central understands that with some domestic cattle fed, working capacity is in fact as high as 28,000 head.
Cattle on feed today are used to supply Stanbroke’s wide-ranging Diamantina branded beef programs, stretching from longfed Wagyu to 120-day Angus, 100-day Diamantina Platinum and 70-day Diamantina Gold domestic brands. About one third of the yard comprises domestic weight cattle.
The feedlot is supplied by a combination of Stanbroke-bred and bought feeder cattle, ranging from F1 to Fullblood Wagyu and Angus to mostly crossbred cattle for 100-day and domestic programs.
“The Menegazzo approach has seen the progressive expansion of the Stanbroke Feedlot as their beef business has been expanded,” the company said.
“Stanbroke has created a stable mix of tailored feeding programs to supply customer requirements and demand under its Diamantina branding. Stanbroke provide a full range of grain assisted, short-fed and longfed grainfed beef across a range of breeds, including dedicated Angus, EU and Wagyu programs,” it said.
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