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TAS Country : March 15th 2012
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, March 16, 2012 News Family diversifies with on-farm butchery BOLD CHANGE: The on-farm butchery value-adds to the stock on Brendon and Natalie Rockliff's farm. KAROLIN MacGREGOR A DECISION to move away from cropping and start their own on-farm butchery is a gamble --- but one that Natalie and Brendon Rockliff are hoping will pay off. The couple opened their Skelbrook Vale on farm butchery and wholesale business at Sassafras a few weeks ago. Situated on the Rockliff's family farm, the butchery is part of a plan to value-add stock produced on the property and diversify their operation. Mrs Rockliff said after two chal- lenging cropping seasons in a row, with difficult weather conditions and low prices, they had decided to re- consider their options. ''We needed to diversify and with our system here we had the oppor- tunity to do something different,'' she said. ''We'd always reared our own lambs here and our family and everyone loved it.'' The started selling their produce at farmers markets to get some feedback from customers. After a good response they went ahead and built their own butchery facility on farm. The timber-clad building was de- signed to fit in well with the sur- rounding landscape and traditional farm buildings. ''This is a family farm, it's been in Brendon's family for over 100 years and we want it to be a nice place for people to come and visit,'' Mrs Rock- liff said. Once the building had been con- structed, the Rockliffs set about find- ing the right butcher to work there and came across Alex Ibbott. Mr Ibbott has been in the industry for a number of years and, after completing his apprenticeship with well-known local butcher Bob Morris, he has worked across the country. ''We're farmers, we don't know anything about the butchery side of things or marketing, so that's why we wanted someone like Alex who was really keen and had the experience to take that side of it on board,'' Mr Rockliff said. Stock for the butchery are pro- cessed at either Kentish Quality Meats or the Devonport abattoir. After that, the carcasses are taken to the butchery where Mr Ibbott cuts them into a variety of products. The butchery's product range has gradually been expanded. It now includes everything from traditional prime cuts and roasts through to sausages, bacon, ham, pies, hamburgers, pinwheels or any- thing else customers may request. Mr Ibbott said he planned to keep changing the products with the seasons to cater for different cooking styles. Farmers who may also want to use the butchery for private kills also have that option. Mr Ibbott said once processed, stock for private kills could be cut up to the customers' orders and made into different products such as saus- ages and hamburgers. Or customers could visit the butch- ery and cut up the carcasses them- selves. ''We'll work in with whatever people want us to do,'' he said. ''A lot of people like to have their own stock off their own property, so we can arrange that and even deliver it to them if they want.'' Mr Ibbott said. Eventually, Mrs Rockliff said they also planned to establish an orchard Lely Australia Pty. Ltd., 48 Mackay St, Rochester, VIC 3561 Ph: (03) 5484 4000 For more information visit: www.lely.com 6.5% Finance* on Welger Balers and Tigo Loaderwagons. *Talk to your local Lely dealer regarding tailor-made Lely Finance to suit your cash flow -- Conditions apply and to approved purchasers only. SMARTER IT'S AN OFFER FROM LELY YOU JUST CAN'T REFUSE! WE'RE READY TO MAKE A DEAL... TALK TO YOUR LELY DEALER NOW! Order any Lely product before 31st March, 2012 for Spring Delivery and make huge Savings off the normal price! Last year we were overwhelmed with EARLY BIRD SAVERS, so don't be left out -- place your ORDER NOW! Lely Finance* also available on all Lely products, but you need to be an early bird to clinch the deal -- so hurry! Live Life Lely innovators in agriculture
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