IN recognition of the evolution of company-based branded beef programs in Australia, the well-known Certified Australian Angus Beef brand program has drawn to a close, having fulfilled its commercial purpose.
The Certified Australian Angus Beef agreement with licensed processor, Thomas Foods International came to an end on 31 December, marking the end of an era in the Australian beef industry, and signifying the maturation of the growth of Angus beef brands in Australia.
In a statement issued to its membership and the broader beef industry, Angus Australia chief executive Dr Peter Parnell said the CAAB brand had left an important legacy for the Australian beef industry and provided the blueprint and inspiration for the development of numerous proprietary Angus brands in the supply chain.
The CAAB brand was launched in 1999 after several years of development and testing. Under the guidance of inaugural chairman Michael Pointer and a board of passionate Angus breeders, the brand was developed by Angus Australia to provide a mechanism to assure the beef supply chain that beef sold as Angus was truly Angus and of the highest quality. The program was one of the first to be underpinned by Meat Standards Australia grading, and it attracted widespread support in the quality end of the food service and retail sectors, both within Australia and overseas.
Over the next 15 years, several processors took licences to produce and market CAAB product under the strict guidelines and specifications associated with the brand. These included Cargill Australia (and it successor, the Teys Cargill Joint Venture), Stockyard Beef and more recently Thomas Foods International.
Refocus on quality assurance verification
“During this period, most major beef processors in Australia also commenced the development of their own proprietary Angus brands,” Mr Parnell said. “Consequently, the focus of Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd and Angus Australia has moved from being a brand owner itself, to being a quality assurance verifier of proprietary Angus brands for various processors in the industry,” he said.
Coinciding with the wind-up of CAAB, the ISO9001-certified brand verification activities previously conducted by Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd has now been fully integrated into Angus Australia’s Commercial Supply Chain program, under the management of commercial supply chain manager, Liz Pearson.
“The Angus Brand Verification program is already working, with a number of major processors in the industry using the facility to verify their Angus production,” Dr Parnell said. “The Angus Brand Verification Program is providing independent Angus brand verification for numerous proprietary Angus-aligned brands.”
Participating brands undergo independent breed content verification by Angus Australia, and the list of participating brands was expected to grow significantly over the next 12 months, Dr Parnell said.
“Our market research indicates that the notion of independent brand verification, conducted directly by the
organisation that represents Angus breeders, has significant appeal for domestic and international consumers of Angus beef,” he said.
In marking the conclusion of the CAAB brand licence, Dr Parnell paid tribute to the directors and staff responsible for the management of the CAAB brand over the past 30 years, including previous company CEOs Michael Pointer, Phil Morley and Kate Brabin; and acknowledged the significant support given to the brand by various individuals and companies spanning the entire red meat supply chain.
“Those individuals and the organisations who contributed to the success of the CAAB brand over the past 20 years have left an important legacy for the industry
through providing the blueprint for the production of quality assured and independently verified high quality beef production,” Dr Parnell said.