Alberta company directly connects beef producers to consumers

You likely already know about craft beer but you are probably less familiar with craft beef.

Trish Tetz and her husband Greg are the fourth generation on their cattle farm in Three Hills, Alta.

Tetz wanted to find a way to cut out the middle man when it came to selling their product, and that is how she came up with the idea of the Craft Beef Company.

“When you think of one brewery to another, there’s a lot of differences between them. There’s different flavours, there’s different ways of finishing that beer, and there’s different ways of finishing your cattle,” Tetz said.

It showcases Alberta ranches and farms that specialize in beef, pork, poultry and bison. People from all over the province can order what they want online and choose where it comes from and see what the animal is fed.

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“What the cow eats really changes the flavour of that beef and changes the marbling profile. So craft is meant to say not all of our farms are the same, and if you are looking for something leaner, we can point you to a farm with that product. If you are looking for something with more marbling and fat content, we might have something that will suit that person better,” Tetz said.

Tetz said it’s a way to connect consumers to farmers but also allows producers to skip a lot of the steps to get their products onto people’s plates.

“Really, the only steps that are involved in our process is working directly with the farm. We work directly with local butcher shops… From there, it goes right to our freezer, it gets packed and boxed by us, and goes directly to the customer all over the province,” Tetz said.

“FedEx takes it directly from our farm and drops it right on your doorstep.”

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Grazed Right in Black Diamond, Alta., does direct marketing but is limited to selling within the area.

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“[The Craft Beef Company] increases our market. We would never sell beef to someone that lives in Fort McMurray or Edmonton,” Grazed Right’s Ben Campbell said.

“It’s really nice for producers to just focus on production… We are so busy with so many different things, raising pigs, chickens, cows and kids… and also direct marketing and answering emails, delivering and packing meat in our own freezer. It’s just a huge amount of work.

“So being able to streamline and focus on what we are good at is really helpful.”

Campbell said it’s also an opportunity for consumers to really know what they are getting.

“I think it’s really good for consumers to buy something directly from the producer or directly from the local supplier instead of just buying something that says it’s from Canada,” Campbell said.

“Canada is a huge country, and it’s really nice to just buy something that is right on your doorstep, especially if you live in Alberta — the best beef in Canada.”

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Campbell said working with the Craft Beef Company is also beneficial because he can set his price ahead of time and has a better idea of what he will get for his products.

“Where, with commodity market, you can make a lot of money, lose a lot of money or make nothing at all,” Campbell said.

The company is still new but Tetz said being able to offer this service is a dream come true.

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