Perhaps you have spotted the 'Free range' tag on some beef products or have heard the buzzword mentioned at dinner gatherings, or in your favourite restaurant perhaps.
Here is a breakdown of the information behind the term; so that you know exactly what it means the next time you come across “free range”.
Need to know: Grass-fed free-range beef
THE FIVE FREEDOMS
The farming methods used for free-range beef all comply with the Five Freedoms, which define the ideal states for acceptable animal welfare.
These are: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear and distress.
HOW OUR FREE RANGE CATTLE LIVE
Animals used in the production of free-range beef roam freely. They are able to eat grass as part of their diet and are never given routine antibiotics or growth hormones.
This means that they take longer to reach slaughter weight.
THE BENEFITS OF FREE RANGE
Because free-range cattle are guaranteed free of all added growth stimulants, are never fed animal by-products, and are not routinely treated with antibiotics, you can be sure that you are not ingesting these either.
Adding value to Namibian beef starts in the veld, where farmers rear free-range cattle using natural methods. Animals are raised on veld grass for the majority of their lives and no growth hormones or routine antibiotics are used in their rearing. Apart from using naturally reared cattle for our production and ensuring that they are treated according to strict animal welfare principles, we further differentiate ourselves by eschewing commodity trading as far as possible. So we do not sell carcasses in international markets, but focus instead on producing value-added, de-boned cuts of meat to meet various client specifications for customers across the world.
Our aim is to add as much value to carcasses as possible and to thus closely align ourselves with the needs of the end consumer of our products. As a consequence, we are constantly developing our value chain by placing greater emphasis on the quality and unique characteristics of our beef. Almost 100% of the slaughtered animal is processed and sold. In this way, we can maximise value addition opportunities.