Poul­try plans take flight

Coominya farmer to cash in on game meat mar­ket

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Emma Clarke emma.clarke@qt.com.au

AUS­TRALIA’S love of a cooked chook may have been sat­is­fied, but now Coominya farmer Dun­can Brown is look­ing to Asian mar­kets to sell chick­ens and quail.

Plans are in process to de­velop his Bris­bane Val­ley prop­erty into the first ded­i­cated pro­tein pro­duc­tion hub in Aus­tralia to com­bine hatch to dis­patch live­stock poul­try and game bird pro­duc­tion.

The Bris­bane Val­ley Pro­tein Precinct will make the most of Asian mar­kets, es­pe­cially Hong Kong’s obsession with lux­ury game meats.

With ex­port ex­pected to start early next year, it’s well timed with the Steggles pro­cess­ing plant at Wulku­raka set to close in its cur­rent ca­pac­ity.

The plant’s clo­sure will have lit­tle af­fect on Mr Brown’s plans as he will con­tinue full flight ahead with a con­tract with Queens­land pro­ces­sor Dar­walla.

Mr Brown said job op­por­tu­ni­ties would in­crease as the fa­cil­ity gained mo­men­tum.

In the 1920s, the av­er­age Aus­tralian ate 20kg of chicken a year, but there has been a grad­ual in­crease in our in­take since then.

The na­tion’s ap­petite has in­creased to in­clude an av­er­age of 50kg of chicken ev­ery year.

Mr Brown said it meant the in­dus­try was too busy putting chick­ens on do­mes­tic ta­bles to con­sider send­ing their birds to over­seas mar­kets.

He said farm­ers had met the na­tion’s de­mands and there was un­likely to be a short­age of chicken in Aus­tralia in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

“Aus­tralians love their chicken, it’s the cheap­est, healthiest pro­tein you can buy,” he said.

“There are some great niches in the ex­port mar­ket.”

Mr Brown said Aus­tralian prod­ucts were sought af­ter for their high qual­ity and pro­duc­tion stan­dards.

“We are aim­ing for the higher-end mar­ket.

“We are not try­ing to com­pete with the lo­cal mar­ket, we are grow­ing them in much bet­ter con­di­tions,” he said.

“Asia can pro­duce chick­ens very ef­fec­tively and cheaply but they see Aus­tralia pro­duc­ing a high wel­fare and safer prod­uct. There is a real con­cern in the mid­dle class about food safety.”

Mr Brown said quail was a par­tic­u­larly sought-af­ter del­i­cacy with a 150g to 400g bird sell­ing for as much as $5.50.

“Our aim is to make it more main­stream. At the mo­ment you have to go to gourmet butch­ers but we want to get it so you can buy it in the su­per­mar­ket and put a lit­tle bit of mari­nade on it and straight on the bar­be­cue,” he said. “Some peo­ple find them a lit­tle bit fid­dly but they’re beau­ti­ful, it’s got a re­ally unique flavour, not too gamey.”

PHOTO: FILE.

GAME PLAN: Farmer Dun­can Brown is de­vel­op­ing a poul­try and quail fa­cil­ity to make the most of ex­port mar­ket de­mands.

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