Several Tasmanian businesses have collaborated to provide food enthusiasts keen on enjoying locally produced quality Tasmanian meat cuts this Christmas/New Year and Aussie Day with an innovative “paddock to plate” concept.
A genetics company based in Somerset, a butcher based in Wynyard, a plasterer from Hobart and several independently owned family cafe/restaurants located in Burnie, St Helens, Bicheno and Coles Bay have banded together thanks to introductions from the company accountant they all share, Adam Gillett of Gillett & Associates.
“I consult a lot of businesses in the process of doing their tax and business accounting and with these guys realised that if I introduced them I could set up something of a local supply chain, cut out some middle men and use the experience and knowledge they have in their fields, the byproduct now being even better quality food out to locals and tourists dining at their venues,” says Gillett.
Van Diemen Genetics source and supply cattle semen from semen companies around the world to beef and dairy farmers throughout Tasmania and on the mainland.
Being a family business who have been dairy farmers for decades, apart from providing dairy and beef farmers with semen and insemination and herd improvement advice, they’ve also got their own rapidly growing herd of wagyu, angus, and angus/wagyu cross cattle in Ridgley, and as demand grows with the paddock to plate concept, plan to grow their herd further and then make introductions of their farmer clients to other butchers and restaurants.
“Apart from being a farmer, I’ve been involved in the animal genetics industry and run restaurants my whole career,” says the owner of Van Diemen Genetics, Mark Handley.
“One of my sons Jake has shown more interest in the farming and animal genetics, while one of my other sons Josh has shown more interest in the restaurant side of things, so we’re playing to their strengths and Jake currently works with me on Van Diemen Genetics, and we’re both supporting Josh with the cafe and restaurants – Food & Brew at Burnie, Pasinis at Bicheno, Geographe at Coles Bay.”
The Handley family were then connected to a Hobart based plasterer, Nick Pearce, who has started a new food truck called 25 Knots which is cruising around the coastal tourist areas and who has another restaurant due to launch at end December at St Helens that will be called Naturaliste; and also to Australia’s 2016 Butcher of the Year, 21 year old Jai North, who was running Wynyard Quality Meats on Goldie Street in Wynyard but which has recently been rebranded to ‘Van Diemen Prime Meats’ to bring the brands and concepts closer together.
In recent years a number of ‘Paddock to Plate’ initiatives have emerged from the Australian food scene with consumers becoming more interested in where the food they are eating is coming from, in part due to some highly publicised product recalls and in part due to a growing demand for more sustainable, less tampered with produce and meat from local sources.
‘We’re blessed in Tasmania with exceptional produce and probably out of all our sources of food, meat is the one most people are especially interested in ensuring is fresh, tasty and from a reputable source with good farming practices. The Van Diemen Genetics and Van Diemen Prime Meats paddock to plate offering is certainly that with a strong focus on quality and sustainability.’
On offer for Christmas, and summer BBQs are a range of Christmas ham, pork, different cuts of chicken, gourmet sausages, lamb and of course prime beef cuts with Food and Brew in Burnie offering a Thursday night steak special and a roast special on a Sunday.
All of the venues are also available for New Years, Australia Day & private function bookings.
Van Diemen Prime Meats (butchery)
36 Goldie Street, Wynyard, TAS, 7325
Phone: 03 6442 2870
Van Diemen Genetics (animal genetics)
Food & Brew (cafe/restaurant in Burnie)
1 Cattley Street
Burnie, TAS, 7320
03 6431 9225
Geographe (cafe/restaurant in Coles Bay)
Pasinis (cafe/restaurant in Bicheno)
**OPENING EARLY 2020**
Naturaliste (cafe/restaurant in St Helens)
25 Quail St, St Helens TAS 7216
For interviews and photos contact Yvette Adams, Publicist, on 0405 022 977 or [email protected].