A Pilbara pastoralist has released a two-flavour line of beef jerky, with the healthy snack now in stores across WA. Annabelle Coppin recently unveiled the premium beef jerky she and her team spent a year developing with the goal of creating a product that “tasted like the Pilbara”. She started to think about creating the jerky as a way to value-add to her already successful domestic boxed-beef business, Outback Beef, which launched in 2016. The project was bolstered by a $6000 State Government grant in May through the WA Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program. Ms Coppin said she used that funding to help create the packaging design and form a marketing plan for the Pilbara’s first beef jerky. “We are really happy with how it has come out ... it is great for the Pilbara to have its own jerky,” Ms Coppin said. “It is another diversification within our brand, and it is another way to use some of our trim products. “Jerky is pretty popular these days, so it is a great way of value-adding to the product. “We really wanted people to have a feel of our brand and like that they have a bit of Yarrie Station in their home.” The topside jerky comes in two flavours — original and chilli — with Ms Coppin’s favourite the latter. Cattle raised at Yarrie Station are sent to a backgrounding property at Badgingarra before being processed. The jerky itself is then made at a factory in Perth before the Outback Beef team pick it up and distribute it across WA. “Logistically, it has been a lot of work. But it was worth the effort,” Ms Coppin said. “We thought we would make some jerky out of excess topside, but then designing the packaging, making sure you have the logistics sorted, it is a lot. “But we are really proud of the packaging looks and the product and we certainly think it is worth the effort.” Outback Beef’s jerky production differs from other, similar businesses, in that the volume of jerky it produces has to match demand for the rest of the carcase. “We will never buy beef to make jerky, it is strictly our beef,” Ms Coppin said. Meat snacks such as beef jerky have found a place in the healthy and low-carb diets of athletes and as a snack item for children and adults. Outback Beef team member Aimee Ray has been at the forefront of selling the product, and said many buyers were people with connections to the Pilbara. “We are selling quite a lot via mail, which is great because we don’t have to temperature-control it and we can send it anywhere,” she said. “We are selling quite a lot of wholesale. “Sales started out with friends, and then word has really spread and it is really popular.” Ms Coppin said the logistics of creating a high-value product such as beef jerky was a lot of work but it had been worth the effort to see the product in stores. The Outback Beef team is now considering releasing seasonal specials, including a bush foods flavour. The jerky is available at several IGA stores and butchers in Perth and Port Hedland.