BEST BEEF: JBS production manager Brett Meads tucks in to the award-winning steak.
BEST BEEF: JBS production manager Brett Meads tucks in to the award-winning steak. Rob Williams

Ipswich cut tantalises the judges

THE recent Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show has crowned Ipswich as a producer of the finest grass-fed beef in the state.

Dinmore's JBS Australia meatworks won first prize in the grass-fed Meat Standards Australia category, edging out many of the country's leading boutique brands.

The locally-produced Swift Premium sirloin was judged on a strict range of criteria - the most important of which being what it tastes like after being cooked up.

JBS business development representative Denis Conroy said it followed on from the success of 2014, when the same brand was judged as Australia's best steak.

"This steak is sold in many of the hotels and restaurants of Ipswich," Mr Conroy said.

"The cattle are sourced predominantly from southeast Queensland so it is very much a local product produced solely for the domestic market.

"The consistency of the supply contributes to the consistency of the end product."

Swift Premium's reliability and popularity with restaurants is partly down to JBS sourcing smaller cattle, allowing a nice thick cut of steak that doesn't weigh too much, so won't cost the consumer an arm and a leg.

JBS Dinmore shift manager Brett Meads said the all-important grading of carcases and cut of the steaks was down to the Ipswich meat workers.

"Our job is to look after the specifications of the meat," Mr Meads said.

In an average day, the plant's 1600 meat workers will go through 3400 beasts across two shifts.

They will pump out 200 tonnes of MSA-grade beef in a normal week.

JBS northern commercial manager Brendan Tatt said the company's Riverina feedlot in NSW was also successful at the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show, with Tender Valley Black Angus winning the Open Class, and Riverina Angus claiming gold in the grain-fed class and champion MSA-branded beef of the show.

"No longer can the market consider us a commodity beef producer, given our continued success at these and other coveted awards," he said.