Consumers react strongly to PCAS certified grassfed beef offer

Jon Condon 22/09/2013


There was a steady stream of customers interested in Australia’s first offering of Certified Pasturefed beef being sold in the Brisbane retail market on Saturday, and some offered compelling reasons for seeking-out the product.

Beef Central went along to gauge the response from consumers when small boutique-scale branded beef supply chain, Luv Meats, started selling the nation’s first beef produced under the new Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System on Saturday morning.

Brisbane's Des Hughes was among the first consumers in Australia to purchase PCAS certified beef offered for the first time on Saturday via Leaone Munn's Luv Meat brand programThe retailer was the large, popular Samie’s Girl fresh seafood outlet in Hamilton, which has decided to extend into a small retail beef offer using Luv Meat for its many customers.

One of the first customers we struck was Des Hughes, from Brisbane’s inner eastern suburb of Norman Park, who was happy to explain his motivations for seeking-out the PCAS product.

“I met my wife fairly late in life – we are both in our early 40s – and we’ve left our run a little late to have children,” he said.

“But after doing some research, we determined that to give ourselves the best possible chance of conceiving, we should put our bodies in the best possible condition. When we started looking into impacts on sperm quality and ovarian condition, it all helps – and particularly diet,” he said.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to watch what we eat, go for grassfed, rather than grainfed in beef, and to consume organic or natural foods wherever possible.”

“In our opinion, a grassfed product is inherently going to have less additives and enhancements than a grainfed product, particularly when certified HGP and antibiotic free.”

It’s costing the Hughes’s about $100 more on their weekly grocery bill to follow that natural/organic food approach, but they see it as a small price to pay if it means they are successful in conceiving.

“We look at it as an investment in our future, and funnily enough, it does taste better,” he said.

Prior to their decision to try to have a baby, Des said Organic, Natural or Grassfed was not really on their food radar, but he suspected they would continue to support such a diet – regardless of their pregnancy outcome – because of the taste and the perceived health benefits.

“Originally, pregnancy was the sole reason we went down this path. But now that we’ve done it, I suspect we’re hooked.”

Des clearly understood the value of an independently third-party audited pathway behind the PCAS process when it was explained to him, and what it meant for verifying grassfed label claims.

“It gives us some greater confidence in what we’re buying,” he said. “We’re even a little concerned over issues like exactly what products the Heart Foundation gives its ‘tick’ to, and the risk of compromises in such endorsements,” he said.

“It’s supposed to be an authority that provides an overall guide to healthy eating, but apparently it costs quite a lot of money (paid to the Heart Foundation) in order for a company to get access to the ‘tick’.”

“Anything that is independent from the grower or processor in terms of delivering an assurance that the product accurately meets its label claim has to be a good thing,” Des said.



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