Dawson Valley Free Range

Dawson Valley Free Range

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Price increase and next market date

Next Market - 4/5 June - Yeppoon and Rockhampton

I've been spending some time in the office this week. It's a necessary evil, but one I don't get to do very often. We had an English backpacker here for a week so I left him feeding so I could catch up on bookwork. This has been quite depressing, as I've had to have a realistic look at our figures and work out what money we are making (or not) and what money we need to be making to enable us to keep going doing what we are doing. Farming is the same across all industries - the farmer gets the smallest share of any profit, and does the majority of the work! The dairy industry has highlighted how most farmers are price takers. We decided to opt out of that vicious circle, by producing  a product that we could market ourselves. Unfortunately the competition in the market by the bigger corporation farms mean that we still have the price dictated to us by market influences.

As I mentioned in my last post, we need to find another option for processing our meat. Monto Meats have been very good to work with and they have been our butchering facility since the beginning. There have been issues at times, with one of the main drawbacks being that they are 3 hours drive from us! I've investigated a few different options, but haven't yet worked out an alternative, so stay tuned for more on that front!

We haven't really been charging enough for our meat and so we haven't really been keeping on top of the cost of production. As I've mentioned in the past, the last price rise was due to an increased cost of packaging, and so we haven't had a price rise to reflect any increases in cost of production. Free range pig farming costs a lot more per pig than a large industrial shed. We do of course get more for our product, but because we produce so few animals, the individual cost per animal is also a lot more. Eg in a shed that houses thousands of pigs, the infrastructure (capital costs) can be shared across all those pigs. Their direct costs are less also as they are more mechanised. It's hard to have mechanised systems out in the paddock.

Basically, we have to charge more to enable us to survive financially. This next lot of market animals will still be processed at Monto Meats, and they will continue to do it until we can sort out an alternative. There packaging price will be double what it has been. We pay a price per kg dress weight, but the amount of packaged meat is a lot less than that, so a $2.50/kg increase in packing means approximately $4/kg increase in the end product. I have therefore re-worked the pricelist to reflect this increase and to put a little rise in our takings. I know that people think that by cutting out the middleman it should be cheaper, but basically we, and the butcher are the middle man and that middle bit still costs!

I have updated the price list - just click on this Link to Price List. While Monto Meats continues to do our meat, we won't be able to take big pre-orders. If you want a particular cut of meat, I can organise that, however I won't be able to get them to pack orders for me, so I can't really take them. I will have to put orders together on the Saturday morning in Yeppoon markets.

Please also note that now that we are now selling whole pigs to Daly's Quality Meats in Clinton, Gladstone and so we won't be delivering to Gladstone now. Please ask him for our pork and tell him that you are one of our customers. I'm not sure if he's doing grassfed beef, but if he's not, tell him that he needs too (I already have!). He often has goat too (not ours yet, but hopefully in the future it will be). Thank you so much to the Gladstone guys for your never ending support, it has been so greatly appreciated!