Great Southern provides a case study for future beef supply chain relationships

Jon Condon, 18/08/2016

Is JBS’s Great Southern brand program providing a window into the future of collaborative supply chain relationships in the Australian beef industry?

By any standards, the Great Southern project, launched three years ago and now covering high quality beef and lamb produced out of a large footprint of country stretching from Tasmania to western Victoria and north into Central NSW, has been a spectacular success for JBS and its supply chain partners who support it.

great-southern-1Visiting Melbourne recently, Beef Central had an opportunity to spend time at JBS’ Brooklyn plant on the city’s fringes, and engage with a range of stakeholders who contribute to Australia’s largest farm-assured, grassfed beef program.

After speaking with boning room foremen, livestock buyers, meat sales staff, cattle producers and retail and food service customers, the first impression that was left was the distinct, perhaps unique culture that has emerged around the Great Southern program.

There’s a palpable sense of attachment, engagement, and pride in contributing to the complex process that puts a piece of Great Southern rib-eye on a plate in a funky Melbourne restaurant, in a quality-driven Sydney butcher’s display window, or into the export market.

In a classic case of the ‘whole’ being greater than the sum of its ‘parts,’ the feedback we picked up from stakeholders was that the result is a collaborative effort, where every link in the chain is respected as being equally important.

JBS Australia has made no secret over the past four years that one of its fundamental shifts in business strategy has been in moving away from being a large-scale, low-cost  ‘commodity’ beef producer, into a supplier of a series of clearly-identified brand programs, each making distinct and specific claims in line with global customer requirements.

Great Southern stands as arguably the best example of that important transition.


  • Part One of our through-chain examination of the Great Southern Revolution starts on Beef Central tomorrow.


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