Birdsville cattleman, David Brook reckons the best measure for meat quality is the only one that hasn’t yet been developed – taste.
Furthermore, he says the taste of Channel Country beef is best of all, thanks to their diet.
David founded the OBE Organic group 20 years ago, along with Scott Fraser and Peter Schmidt, in the heart of the Channel Country, described on the OBE website as an “extraordinary natural treasure”.
“People might consider the outback second quality because it doesn’t rain a lot, but the main quality for the people who eat our beef is the taste,” David said.
“Most of the standards we have now measure teeth, butt shape, fat colour and so on.
It's unfortunate that taste isn't measurable because that's what matters to consumersDavid Brook
“It’s unfortunate that taste isn’t measurable because that’s what matters to consumers.”
And it’s the sweet feed growing on the rich red soils and floodplains that give the beef its mouth-watering taste, according to David.
“People here have all breeds – Angus, Shorthorn, Droughtmaster, Hereford – so it’s not the breed that’s the secret, it’s the access to good feed.”
If David had his way, he would promote beef regions in much the same way that wines are known by their location – the Barossa, the Hunter Valley, Marlborough – and which are known by connoisseurs for their distinctive tastes.
“Wine growers don’t try and measure non-useful things,” he said.