Grant to beef up international reach for Albany’s Irongate Wagyu

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Irongate Wagyu's Peter Gilmour.
Camera IconIrongate Wagyu's Peter Gilmour. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

A $100,000 State government grant is set to take Great Southern premium beef online to reach customers in South-East Asia as the industry continues to grapple with supply chain disruptions amid the COVID-19 pan-demic and Chinese export uncertainty.

Kalgan’s Irongate Wagyu was one of 11 WA agrifood and beverage businesses to nab a share of about $875,000 in State grant funding yesterday, designed to help businesses adapt to the effects of COVID-19 on key Asian export markets.

Irongate Wagyu, farmed just outside of Albany, will use the funding to create an e-commerce site in multiple languages to help shift its Futari Wagyu beef packaged in the Great Southern from a base in Singapore.

Owner Peter Gilmour started selling packaged premium full-blood Wagyu to WA households online at the onset of COVID-19 shutdowns, when demand ground to a halt as restaurants and hotels shut down.

Mr Gilmour said the company would use the grant, as well as an additional $100,000, to look at the feasibility of shipping different cuts of meat to customers across South-East Asia online.

“With air freight prices going through the roof in Perth at the moment, we want to be able to really target those markets,” he said.

“It is really looking to expand that, working out how we run and control the supply chain to get it out to a broader market, particularly the South-East Asian markets.”

The beef industry has not escaped China’s economic campaign against Australia, with the suspension of beef imports from six Australian suppliers so far this year.

Mr Gilmour said his processor had stopped sending chilled produce to China because they did not want to risk being put on the banned list.

“I think this will get sorted out over time and we will be back into the China market,” he said.

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