All about the journey

Speckle Park cattle are recognised for producing high-marbling genetics and combined with mouth-watering bite test results – it’s all about the softness of the beef – it was a natural progression into Speckle Beef as a brand in its own right.

In Beef Country3 Minutes
Speckle Beef is available in 39 restaurants across New Zealand and online at

Pahiatua farmer Grant Bennett hits the nail on the head with the statement, “we farm because we enjoy what we do. We do it for the pride of what we produce, not for the financials”.

Wanting to build on this sense of pride and showcase the benefits of being able to trace the journey of Speckle Park cattle from farm-to-plate, seven years ago he embarked on a journey to bridge the gap between what chefs are cooking with, and what the discerning home shopper is buying. “We want to connect consumers back to the farm; the ultimate goal is to have people buy Speckle Beef and be able to trace it back to where came from with a QR code. To be able to record and
celebrate the provenance would ensure every mouthful was great beef, with a great story.”

Farming is under an enormous amount of pressure right now, with high onfarm inflation and low farm gate prices, he says. “What I see as important in the next four to six years is the need to increase beef finishing efficiency in this environment.

“Farmers need to look harder at changing beef breeds. You simply cannot afford to hold stock over more than two winters. Hybrid vigour is the lowest hanging fruit we have as farmers, but also using the right genetic selection for bulls used is massive.

“Our Totara Hill Speckle Parks have bred the highest marbling bull over all breeds, which has propelled the genetics of our beef programme: to supply consistent high marbling cattle finished before the second winter.”

With only 12% of a beef carcase contributing to the top end table cuts, as an industry we need to find ways of adding value to the other 88%. “We need to be looking for efficiency gains,” concludes Grant. “We want people eating beef with a good story and to celebrate the journey that our beef takes to enhance that sense of pride. It is powerful stuff.”