Raising the Bar on beef jerky

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
Annabelle Coppin
Camera IconAnnabelle Coppin Credit: Nic Ellis

Marble Bar may already be known across the country as Australia’s hottest town, but it could soon be known for its beef jerky.

Yarrie Station owner Annabelle Coppin hopes to take her first beef jerky and biltong products to market by the end of the year.

Ms Coppin has been developing the jerky as a way to value-add to her already successful domestic boxed-beef business, Outback Beef, which launched in 2016.

Ms Coppin said the jerky and biltong was in the “testing phase”, and would be given away as samples when customers ordered a beef pack through the Outback Beef website.

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“We are launching two flavours, original and chilli, in both a jerky and biltong style,” she said.

“We are planning to value-add to the Outback Beef brand by adding a premium jerky product.

A sample pack of Outback Beef's beef jerky.
Camera IconA sample pack of Outback Beef's beef jerky. Credit: Outback Beef
A sample pack of Outback Beef's first biltong snap-sticks.
Camera IconA sample pack of Outback Beef's first biltong snap-sticks. Credit: Outback Beef

“At the moment, we are undertaking the testing phase, so we will be giving packs away when people order a beef pack, and asking for feedback.

We might also have some pop-up events in Port Hedland or Perth to get feedback.”

While Ms Coppin has her eye on supplying jerky to the Pilbara market, she is also investigating WA stockists and export opportunities.

The project was bolstered by a $6000 State Government grant in May, through the WA Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program.

Outback Beef plans to use that grant to identify markets and logistic opportunities, and to work on branding and marketing.

Ms Coppin said the thought process was simple — use top-side beef to create a premium product that “tastes like the Pilbara”.

“Ever since establishing the brand, we have always wanted to value-add through a premium jerky product,” she said.

“We hope to create a premium paddock-to-plate, WA jerky that tells our story and ensures our unique flavour is available in the jerky market. We know that our beef has a unique mineral flavour from the beautiful rangelands soil and pasture, and we want to promote this.”

The Coppins run 2000 head of droughtmaster cross cattle at Yarrie Station, 250km south-east of Port Hedland, where they have been busy mustering since April.

After buying the business from her parents in 2015, Ms Coppin expanded into the domestic market last year by creating Outback Beef.

The branded boxed-beef business, targeting the domestic market, added a new revenue stream to traditional live exports.

There is no abattoir in the Pilbara, so Ms Coppin trucks her cattle more than 1400km to supply boxed beef orders.

Cattle from Yarrie are sent to Ms Coppin’s 1000ha farm at Badgingarra, for finishing, before being slaughtered at Gingin or Bunbury.

Some of that beef, including steak, sausages and burgers, is sent back to the Pilbara for boxed-beef orders and to feed workers at BHP’s Pilbara mining camps.

Outback Beef first started supplying beef to BHP’s Pilbara mining camps in 2018 and now supplies about 70 per cent of its Pilbara beef catering needs. The remainder is sold direct to customers in Perth.

The jerky would be created at the same abattoirs. Logistically, processing the cattle in WA’s south and returning the meat north is expensive. But providing local meat to local people is something Ms Coppin feels passionately about.

In February 2019, Yarrie received a $79,000 grant from the State Government for a feasibility study into mobile abattoirs in northern WA.

Results from that study are expected to be released in coming months.

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