What’s the history behind the establishment of the business?
Hokubee Australia Pty Ltd was established in 2001 as a further processing beef factory based in Wauchope NSW. The aim of establishing the company was to increase global sales of Meltique Beef.
We have another factory based in Japan but due to certain trade restrictions, Japan cannot export beef products. So our Managing Director, Tom Miyamoto, and company Chairman, Mr Hayashi, decided that we needed to build a factory in Australia, and Wauchope was chosen as the site to target these other markets.
We have mainly targeted the South East Asian countries, because of the economic growth in this region and also because of the increase in the demand from the younger generation for beef products. We now export Meltique Beef from our Wauchope factory into Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Macau and Indonesia.
We have also exported into China, but now because of the potential huge demand in this region for Meltique Beef, we have had to set up a factory in China to specifically target this market. Hokubee Australia is supplying raw material to them, so that they can produce Meltique Beef in China.
How many people does the business employ – and what specialist fields are they sourced from/what specialist training have they had?
Hokubee Australia employs 50 staff in total. Staff includes Management, office/administration staff, cleaners, production staff, Quality Assurance Staff, Laboratory Technicians, Load Out and Maintenance staff. All staff have undergone specialist training in their roles. All processing staff have been put through intensive Food Hygiene training courses, and this training continues throughout their employment.
What products is the business especially renown for?
What unique processes go into producing the quality end product?
Hokubee Australia produces a value added product called Meltique Beef, which is a simulated marbled beef product, injected with beef tallow for consistency and guaranteed eating quality. This process allows the natural juice to be retained, as the marble is cooked out with no reduction in yield. This unique product is ideal for the restaurant and catering business.
The Australian meat industry has, during its history, been hampered in its marketing initiatives by the consistency of the product itself. This is because the meat industry has many factors to contend with that directly affect the eating characteristics of meat and they include, amongst many, breeding, age and even the cattle’s food source. The process involved in Meltique Beef production overcomes these obstacles, to make the end product more flavoursome, juicy, tender and consistent in quality.
Meltique Beef delivers consistency and was designed with a specific market in mind. The product was designed to conform exactly to specification, and that is what makes it so different from generic meat cuts. With eating characteristics directly guiding the outcome of the development, the product has met all qualified expectations plus adds a new benefit not before experienced by beef consumers and users, which is the ability to cook this product from frozen with the same outcome.
What are the advantages of processing your products this way?
The process of making Meltique Beef is extremely innovative, and the object of the process is to mimic the same eating characteristics as grain fed beef. Like grain fed beef, the oil infused into Meltique Beef melts out of the meat during cooking and helps protect the fibre of the meat from drying up. This in turn helps protect the moisture content of the meat, resulting in a more consistent eating characteristic.
The innovation of this product is the ability to develop eating characteristics to that of a similar product of much better breeding and age, but be price pointed to benefit and interest specific markets.
The business is celebrating being in operation for 10 years now. To what, do you believe, does the business owe its longevity?
Hokubee Australia is able to produce a quality product in Meltique Beef at a very competitive price.
What awards/recognition has the business received in the past?
Hokubee Australia was named as the NSW emerging exporter of the year in 2005 and was also a national finalist in the 2005 Australian Export Awards. Hokubee Australia was also awarded a Food Challenge Award Winner for 2005 in the Meat and Small goods Category.
In what direction will the business be heading over the next 10 years/are there any changes on the horizon?
We plan to expand our current sales growth in Asia, as well as looking to target other world regions such as the Middle East and Europe.
Where can people source your products?
People can buy Meltique Beef from a local company called George and Son’s Fine Foods. This company is our local agent who only supplies Meltique Beef products. They supply to the whole of the Mid North Coast and are common sights at all the local farmers’ markets in this region.
Contact Name: George Colvin.
Ph: 0414 933 313.