Pil­bara cat­tle sta­tion owner Annabelle Cop­pin has teamed up with BHP Bil­li­ton to sup­ply her pro­duce to al­most 60 per cent of the min­ing gi­ant’s ESS Vil­lages in north­ern and cen­tral re­gions.

North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Sophia Con­stan­tine

Min­ing gi­ant BHP is look­ing to beef up or­ders from a Pil­bara sta­tion so it can one day sup­ply all its min­ing camps in the re­gion with lo­cal beef.

Annabelle Cop­pin’s 250,000ha Yar­rie Sta­tion 250km south-east of Port Hed­land will now sup­ply pro­duce to al­most 60 per cent of BHP’s ESS-op­er­ated vil­lages in north­ern and cen­tral re­gions.

Ms Cop­pin said it had been a life­long dream to get Pil­bara beef on plates in the re­gion.

“What we re­ally like about this job is it’s go­ing back to into re­gion — into the Pil­bara. That’s what were re­ally proud of,” she said.

“It’s Pil­bara beef go­ing back to Pil­bara peo­ple, which is what we’ve been work­ing on for a re­ally long time.

“We’ve been talk­ing about this for years and we’re re­ally glad its ac­tu­ally kicked off.

“So far we’ve had some re­ally good feed­back.”

Yar­rie runs about about 3000 head with a crew of eight, who muster be­tween April and Septem­ber.

The cat­tle spend most of their life on the sta­tion be­fore be­ing sent to abat­toirs down south, then to Bun­bury for pro­cess­ing, where they are packed and sent back to the camps.

Ms Cop­pin said get­ting an an­i­mal ready for a BHP camp was a long process.

“It takes about three years for that an­i­mal to be ready,” she said.

“We have to get the right weight, the right fat lev­els, and it has to be MSA-graded.

“All these things take time to ac­tu­ally get the an­i­mal ready.”

She said for a deal to be vi­able, it had to be long term and con­sis­tent.

“If it’s long term, that’s when this busi­ness and the sta­tion will start to ben­e­fit from it,” she said.

“If this busi­ness has a long-term mar­ket where it’s con­sis­tent and we know that we’re go­ing to be send­ing cat­tle in every month and we know where it’s go­ing — which it is at the mo­ment — it makes our busi­ness a lot more sta­ble.

“We man­age a lot of land here and we’re very pas­sion­ate about how we pro­duce it.

“If you have a vi­able busi­ness with vi­able, sus­tain­able mar­kets, then you can in­vest back into your coun­try and how you look after it.”

BHP cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Chris Cot­tier said the re­la­tion­ship with Yar­rie demon­strated how in­dus­try could work to­gether to strengthen lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“The beef tastes great so we’re keep­ing our em­ploy­ees happy at camp, and we’re cre­at­ing long, sus­tain­able part­ner­ships to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses, lo­cal pro­cure­ment and lo­cal jobs,” he said.

Speak­ing at a fo­rum in Perth last week, BHP rail gen­eral man­ager Michael Bai­ley said the com­pany would even­tu­ally like to sup­ply all its camps in the Pil­bara with Yar­rie beef.

It’s Pil­bara beef go­ing back to Pil­bara peo­ple. Annabelle Cop­pin

Pic­ture: Sophia Con­stan­tine.

Pic­tures: Sophia Con­stan­tine

Annabelle Cop­pin at the sta­tion she man­ages.

Cat­tle at Yar­rie sta­tion.

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