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It was the mantra “rise above the ordinary”, recounted to Ben Heath by his father Bob throughout his upbringing, and a genuine interest in farming that inspired Ben to join the family business Najobe, a registered Red Angus cattle stud.

Together, father and son forged a successful business partnership based on a commitment to providing a pure paddock to plate experience, one that remains true to the source. But, it is Ben’s commitment ‘to do it really, really well’ that truly sets Najobe apart.

It is clear that a great deal of thought has gone into every step of business planning and development. Najobe was originally developed to breed quality seed stock for the beef industry, and a niche market for the grass fed beef was beginning to transpire, then Ben saw an opportunity. He wanted total quality control over Najobe’s meat, so he set about developing a unique genetic registration system, to complement their commitment to sound cattle management.

‘Free range to us is all about ethical animal husbandry. Our cattle are run at a stocking rate of 1 cow per 4 acres, which is appropriate for our area because the cows can eat their natural diet of grass. They follow the ute when we want to move them, encouraged by the bale of hay on the back, and we never forcibly move them.’ Ben explained.

‘We match bulls with herds; we know where they were bred and what they feed on. We have charts to map birth and growth weights.’ explains Ben. ‘All of the meat can be analysed and traced back to Najobe, the source. It’s our guarantee of 100% traceability.’

The main family farm is at Wistow in the Adelaide Hills. In addition, Najobe has commercial agreements covering 16 other properties from Verdun to Port Elliot, which makes 2500 acres of farming land available for cattle and more recently lamb and pork.

‘Our pigs are grown in an open free style barn. There are no sow stalls and the floors are soft. They can wander outside where they are able to forage freely. We also work with a nutritionist who has helped us to develop a premium, portion controlled diet for our pigs.’ explained Ben. ‘Our customers are therefore assured of a full flavoured meat. Each carcass weighs only 55-60kg which means the flavour is so much better and there is less fat content.’

With Ben’s vision and drive, it was inevitable that a shop front and fully accredited butchery was opened in 2015. ‘We are genuinely providing our customers with something that’s true to the source from start to finish.’ said Ben. Long may that vision endure. najobe.com.au

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