The Cow Share Philosophy
The ‘Cow Share’ program is designed around a community approach to consuming an entire animal – from nose to tail.
It enables a group of people to each buy a share of an entire carcass and to distribute the meat, fat and bone among the shareholders. Participants will receive a little bit from the front of the animal, a little from the back and a share of everything in between.
In short, it is an attempt to replicate the age-old practice where an animal was slaughtered to be shared among the community.
We use Fig Tree Organic Beef and Our own Beef bodies in the Cow Share program and can arrange a visit to the farm for anyone who wants to see where their animal came from.
How it works
A carcass in the Cow Share scheme is broken up into 8 shares, so that a participant in a Cow Share is entitled to 1/8th of the carcass. Once there are 8 participants registered for a Cow Share, the butchers can begin cutting and packaging the carcass.
What you get
Each participant will get an equal share of the carcass. That will include ‘prime’ cuts, ‘secondary’ cuts, mince, sausages, bones (for stock or soup) and fat.
The precise allocation of what you receive will vary for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, the sizes of carcass will vary throughout the year, though they are generally within the 250-280 kilogram range. (That’s what they weigh when delivered to the shop. As they are dry aged a great deal of moisture is lost from the body – which enhances the flavour and texture of the meat, but means they weigh less when they come to be butchered.)
Secondly, in a natural, free-range and pasture-based environment the fat cover on a carcass will vary throughout the seasons.
Finally, there are ‘swings and roundabouts’ in the allocation of the carcass. For example someone might get a little less t-bone than others, but it’ll be made up with more scotch fillet. And not all bones are grown equally – so when splitting the bones 8-ways it may result in variability in allocation.
The total weight of what you have available to put in your fridge and freezer is likely to be in the range of 22-30 kilos.
What it costs
The cost of a Cow Share unit is $330 . This entitles you to 1/8th share of a whole carcass.
We have fixed the price at this level to simplify things and to fairly accommodate the slight variation of body sizes over the course of the year.
Who is it for?
A Cow Share is not for everyone.
If receiving 22-30 kilograms of beef at one time is too daunting, this is not for you.
Similarly, if you only ever want to eat scotch or eye fillet, then give it a miss.
However, if the idea of splitting a Cow Share with friends and family in the spirit of ‘community’ appeals to you, then a Cow Share might be for you.
Or if you like the challenge of tackling cuts of beef you might not ordinarily buy and enjoy new culinary experiences, then you might be a Cow Share candidate.
If this sounds like you, give us a call or send us an email