Local Innovation Network helps Red 8 Produce meat consumer demand

Media release | 18 February 2019

Two entrepreneurs from the New England region are out to revolutionise how discerning Australian farmers and consumers process livestock and source their meat.

Anita Taylor and Sarah Burrows, who both grew up in regional NSW, are developing an on-farm abattoir focused on the supply of ethically-processed and sustainable meat.

“We are offering a completely new meat processing platform which will be modular, lightweight, mobile and able to process multi-species including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, and kangaroos,” Ms Taylor said.

“Our prototype is currently being fabricated and we will be trialling it as soon as possible and then moving to commercial production.”

Their startup company, Red 8 Produce, has been developed with the support of Jobs for NSW Local Innovation Network member, the UNE SMART Region Incubator (SRI).

“We are a founding member of the SRI and worked out of there until we grew to a point where we could move to our new base at Uralla,” Ms Taylor said.

“But we are still very much involved with the SRI and the support it provides such as networking, access to an expert in residence, mentoring, and functions with fantastic speakers like Virgin Startup Program founder Ian Mason and TechLadies founder Elisha Tan. “The SRI has been of great value to us. It’s a broad group of people who offer unconditional support and it has grown into a significant part of our community.”

Ms Burrows said the UNE SMART Region Incubator not only provides shared resources but also a collaborative and safe place to discuss the challenges of establishing a new business.

“It allows you to get other perspectives and fresh ideas and to share learnings, and it can be incredibly helpful in getting a leg up with your business,” Ms Burrows said.

“Another main benefit for startups is it can provide a place to work rather than having to work off the kitchen table, which can be tricky for people juggling work with families. “Also, at times it can be mentally tough working on a startup and so the support offered by SRI is very beneficial.”

Jobs for NSW CEO Nicole Cook said the UNE SMART Region Incubator was one of seven organisations providing support to startups across the Local Innovation Network which is operating in regional locations including Armidale, Byron Bay, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Wollongong and Wagga Wagga.

“The Local Innovation Network (LIN) is a $2.1 million commitment by the NSW Government to develop regional entrepreneurship and support startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across the state,” Ms Cook said.

“The LIN is helping develop entrepreneurs in each of the seven regions by removing barriers that isolate startup founders from each other and by linking them with the Sydney startup community through the Sydney Startup Hub and its Regional Landing Pad.

“The Sydney Startup Hub celebrates its first year anniversary this month and in the past year its Regional Landing Pad has hosted 1,072 meetings involving entrepreneurs from regional NSW.

“The Regional Landing Pad offers free startup space for regional entrepreneurs based outside Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle. Regional entrepreneurs can visit for up to three days at a time to meet with other startups and potential business partners, investors, and service providers.

“It offers 12 dedicated startup desks, a 12-seat conference room and meeting rooms with video conferencing facilities. Visitors also get access to events and networking sessions hosted by incubators like Fishburners, Stone & Chalk, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio,” Ms Cook said.

Red 8 Produce continues to tap into the LIN as it chases its vision to build a business that can provide a good return to farmers while looking after animals.

“Red 8 Produce meat will be of exceptional quality and flavour and we will partner with like-minded suppliers and butchers so that consumers will know their meat was produced with the highest quality of care right across the entire supply chain,” Ms Taylor said.

“We want to make farmers more sustainable, keep local communities alive with work, and also provide consumers with high quality, ethical and sustainable meat.

“We’re not going into competition with the big blokes and trying to replace abattoirs but our product will cater to a niche market that is looking for particular attributes in their meat including provenance, traceability, and a lack of additives.

“Also, as livestock will be processed on site they will never have to leave the place they were born and can be naturally reared in a stress-free environment without the need to be transported for processing.”

For further information and contact visit Local Innovation Network.

For further information on the Sydney Startup Hub’s Regional Landing Pad and to book a free visit Sydney Startup Hub.

L-R Red 8 Produce co-founders Anita Taylor and Sarah Burrows