Three generations came together as Kerwee Group celebrated 60 years on the Darling Downs with official opening of expanded feedlot
There was plenty to celebrate for the Kerwee Group last Tuesday (31st October), as three generations of the Hart family came together with more than 200 guests, to mark 60 years of business success – and the official opening of Kerwee’s newly-expanded feedlot.
The company’s Jondaryan facility is the oldest family-owned feedlot in Australia and has recently doubled its capacity, from 11,100 to 20,200 head of cattle.
The expansion was required to meet growing demand for the company’s award-winning grain fed Angus and Wagyu beef, which is marketed under the Stockyard label.
Stockyard CEO Lachie Hart said, while the business remained family-owned and operated, it was today an internationally-recognised brand, with a long history of producing consistent, high-quality beef for Australian and overseas consumers.
“Stockyard beef is today exported to 15 countries around the world, including across Asia, America and the Middle East, and we are punching well above our weight in what is a very competitive international marketplace,” Mr Hart said.
“There have been many boom and bust cycles in the industry, but we haven’t only survived, we’ve thrived, with year-on-year growth.
“That is because, every day, we are looking at what we can do better, to produce even more exceptional beef. It’s a passion for the entire Kerwee family.”
Mr Hart’s father, Robin Hart AM, founded the business in 1958 and became a pioneer in exporting chilled grain fed boxed beef to Japan. He remains a key member of the company, as chairman of the board.
Notably, Robin Hart also helped established the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association as well as Meat Standards Australia, the highly-respected quality grading system for beef.
“The business has evolved significantly in 60 years, but we have always strived for success, and have always aimed to take a leadership role in the industry,” Mr Hart (senior) said.
“We are also committed to innovation and, recently, Kerwee became the first commercial feedlot to adopt Growsafe net feed intake technology, which measures the feeding performance and behaviour of individual animals.
“Technology such as this is vital, as it will assist us to further improve profitability through better decision making around feed efficiencies and animal well-being, as well as enabling better genetic selection,” he said.
The feedlot expansion and diamond jubilee celebration cap off a big year for the business, with Stockyard winning the grand championship medals at the Brisbane and Melbourne Shows’ 2017 branded beef awards, and the award for champion grain fed beef at the 2017 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.