A Charters Towers based butchery is on a mission to source and process 100 per cent locally produced beef and pork for the plates of northwest consumers.
Located at the gateway to the north west, Dans Country Meats and Plants Meats Livestock Processing Facility was solely established at the beginning of this year under a new lease agreement.
Behind the endeavour is Dan and Kym Walton along with their kids Becky, Ruby and Darcy.
A qualified butcher and processor, Mr Walton has been in the meat industry for over two decades and said the operation centred around providing quality beef and pork from the paddocks of Charters Towers and surrounds.
A born and raised Charters Towers local, Mr Walton began his meat processing apprenticeship at age 19 in the Proserpine region and was where he met his now wife Kym.
The family moved back to the north west town in 2009 where Mr Walton said he initially worked for Dave Plant, the original owner of the facility, as a slaughterman.
In 2016, the family also opened a wholesale and retail side of the business in relation with Dave Plant who still had sole ownership at the time.
The opportunity arose to take over the whole facility at the beginning of 2022 under a new lease agreement after the business was sold to a third party.
What has evolved is a wholesale and retail butcher shop with continued private meat processing facilities.
Mr Walton said different markets were targeted in both a retail and wholesale capacity, whilst also offering private livestock processing.
"There are the people that want their animals processed for their own personal use, which could be a grazier or a little hobby farmer around town," he said.
"We also do a number of paddock to plate customers, whereas they come in and we'll process all their beef for them, and they'll have all their own category of packs that they pack to.
"They often also on-sell that to whichever customers they supply to.
"Also through all of the beef that we process, we target another three points of product, which is retail through the shop, we supply a number of businesses around the region and we also do a wholesale point of view in Townsville."
Mr Walton said all livestock brought to the facility was processed in house with beef and pork the main consumer products.
"I try to source all of my cattle locally or as locally as possible," he said.
"When we can, we try to source local goats and sheep as well. It's all about trying to have that continual supply chain within that area.
"With beef and pork it's a continual run each week. It's the main products that we do and it's just a matter of getting more suppliers on the market."
Mr Walton said the facility would process between 10 to 15 head of grass or grain fed cattle each week and 40 to 60 pigs raised in a registered local piggery.
As a member of the Australian Meat Industry Council and a qualified meat safety and animal welfare officer, Mr Walton said top animal welfare practices were prioritised within the production.
Moving forward, Mr Walton said they hoped to continue growing whilst providing the same quality products.
The business also recently signed up their first school based apprentice.
"It's been a big learning curve," he said.
"Coming from pretty much a worker point of view and to then step into a role where I am required to do paperwork, bookwork, manage people, and motivate people, it's a little bit more difficult and more in depth.
"I try to tell all of my workers that we're still learning how to operate a small business and keep up the standard of what Dave set.
"We're trying to keep the same quality and product going through."
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