When our customers became interested in organic meats, Heinen’s team of experts set out to find sources that met our high quality and sustainability standards. Today, we have surely found the best of the best in organic beef with our long-standing partners at Australian Organic Meat.
We had a chance to chat with our partners for a behind-the-scenes peek into the dedication, skill and care that goes into the organic meat we know and love to enjoy.
When it comes to cattle farming, few people have more experience and passion than Simone and Shane Tully and Matt and Julie O’Leary, founders of Australian Organic Meat. They have quite an impressive resume, too. Simone has spent all of her life on farms and discovered a passion for organics while backpacking through Colorado, and the O’Leary’s are pioneers in the organic industry as one of the first farmers in Australia to receive an A Grade Organic Certification.
With nearly 100 years of farming experience, these two families joined forces to form an organic beef production network to meet the growing demand for organic food. Even more so, they wanted to set the standard that Organic beef production could be both sustainable and economically sound.
What started as the Tully’s 200,000 acres of farm land has become a sustainable operation of 55 farms throughout Eastern Australia all committed to producing high-quality organic beef.
Each of the 55 farms within the Australian Organic Meats organization are family-owned and operated by second, third and fourth generation farmers, much like Heinen’s. Their commitment to producing high-quality organic beef is no small feat. In fact, each of these farms had to go through a rigorous 3 year transition from conventional to organic cattle farming.
So, what makes the beef from Australian Organic Meat organic? To make it simple, the cattle are raised as naturally as possible, in the way nature intended on plush grassland pasture of Australia.
Over the years, it has become common practice for cattle around the world to consume pasture (feed) that has been treated with pesticides and herbicides, in addition to treating the animals themselves with antibiotics and growth hormones.
The cattle from Australian Organic Meat comes in contact with zero chemicals. This skilled team of farmers has discovered that healthy cattle come from cultivating healthy soil and open space to graze on a diverse salad of natural grasses and grains.
Not only are the cattle healthier and happier, but by consuming Australian Organic Meat, you are making a difference for yourself, the environment and the farmers whose livelihood is supported by cattle farming.
Organic and grass-fed meats are filled with healthy fats and omegas, and because the meat is free of chemical additives, they have minimal endocrine disruptors. The lack of chemicals also makes organic meat production environmentally sustainable because the soil is cultivated naturally on each of the 55 farms.
Australian Organic Meats is clearly a unique organization that is making its mark in the organic meat industry with its commitment to animal welfare and sustainability, but what makes it truly special is their equal commitment to their partnered farmers. Over time, the meat industry has become corporatized making it challenging for niche farmers (ex. Organic farmers) to survive and plan for succession. By working with Australian Organic Meats, these family farms are allotted stable pricing and the ability to plan for succession by knowing that there is a continuous demand for their product.
Much like Heinen’s, Australian Organic Meats cares about its product and its people, which has made this decade-old partnership transparent, collaborative and truly valuable.