Gippsland Natural Beef has been awarded a Food Source Victoria Planning and Growth Grant to move the business to the next stage of its development – helping them to "tackle new and exciting markets," said group director, Paul Crock.

The grant will provide significant opportunities for the group to expand its marketing and sales capabilities, and develop important business relationships in key export markets to promote their high-quality, sustainably produced grass-fed beef products.

Located in Gippsland – which stretches from Melbourne's eastern outskirts all the way to the state border with New South Wales in Victoria's far east – Gippsland Natural Beef is a cooperative group of farmers who mostly raise Angus or Angus-cross cattle. 

As one of the first groups to recognise the brand power of beef produced under free range, grass-fed production systems, their cattle are grown out to 18-24 months of age and are carefully looked after to minimise stress.

Underpinned by stringent environmental credentials and Meat Standard Australia grading, the group have established a strong presence in the domestic beef market, both in Melbourne and across regional Victoria.

As the demand for high-quality, grass-fed beef increases in global markets such as China – our largest trading partner which the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences predicts will account for 43 per cent of global growth in agricultural demand by 2050 – programs like the A$20 million Food Source Victoria program provides the much needed support for businesses like Gippsland Natural Beef to be internationally competitive.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which entered into force on 20 December 2015, has given Victoria's agrifood businesses a significant advantage over other larger players, such as the United States, the European Union and Canada. One of the key outcomes of ChAFTA is to eliminate tariffs on Australian beef imports by up to 12 and 25 per cent by 1 January 2024.