General News

6 March, 2023

New heights for Tablelands beef

WITH a vision to make Tableland-grown beef a household name, Doug Cross from Cross Custom Meats in Atherton has launched his own beef brand, Altitude, drawing from the high-quality cattle grown on the Tablelands.

By Rhys Thomas

Altitude and Cross Custom Meats owner Doug Cross with daughter Claire and Altitude producer Russell Geraghty from Tinaroo
Altitude and Cross Custom Meats owner Doug Cross with daughter Claire and Altitude producer Russell Geraghty from Tinaroo

Mr Cross has decided to take on this bold new venture and supply a range of different restaurants and butcheries across North Queensland with locally grown, grassfed, flatback black cattle.

Altitude not only draws from Mr Cross’s own farms but the network of producers that have been supplying Cross Custom Meats for decades.

Many Tablelands graziers prefer black cattle with a significant number of Black Angus and Brangus studs prevalent in the area while most locals opt to purchase locally grown beef when they can.

Mr Cross decided to launch his own beef brand after he felt “comfortable within himself” and after he gained enough experience in the industry.

He also felt it was a good way to continue the late Chris Greenwood’s vision.

Mr Greenwood was a pioneer in the cattle in-dustry and the man behind Morganbury Meats – a wholesale supplier of many of the region’s top restaurants and butcheries.

“I was a big believer and big follower of Chris when he had Morganbury working for him, we had a pretty good business relationship there towards the end. Someone needed to get a hold of it and follow through with the vision he had.

“I would like to say I could get to the scale he was at, but I don’t think we can get to that stage.”

Mr Cross said he would like to maintain roughly 2000 head of cattle to supply the butcheries and venues across the far north with 12 to 14 farms currently growing cattle for Altitude.

Altitude has already sent produce to areas such as Roma, Whitsundays, Cairns and Townsville with plans to expand.

“We want to showcase what the Tablelands can produce, we have got some of the best seedstock getting around up here and it has always been a mission of mine to grow and do something here,” Mr Cross said.

“We are nearly hitting our goal of 2000 head of cattle now and anything over you are going to pull the reach out of North Queensland.

“There is definitely relevance there to do a whole lot more but to keep that consistent, quality supply with the market we are chasing we don’t want to draw cattle that aren’t to our specs.”

Mr Cross believes locals buy too much meat out of the southern states instead of utilising the amaz-ing range of beef being produced just down the road.

“Last year I bought meat out of wholesales in Brisbane and that didn’t really sit well with me because I am always trying to support locals,” he said.

“When you start talking to those big fellas down south, in the domestic market around Australia we are second best.

“They can focus on the international market and play with the figures and they forget about the domestic market. I just want to purely supply the domestic market and look after our own mouths before we look after someone else’s.”

Butchers selling Altitude’s produce will be using a unique display ticket in their shops.


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