Farm fresh meat

"Farm direct meat"

You can buy and sell fresh meat on the Farmers Lot. Some sellers will advertise their meat as coming straight from the farm to you. Even as consumers of meat, in Australia we put a high value on animal welfare, so cattle that don't leave the farm and through the stress of travel may appeal to some, but is this actually what happens? In this article we explore some of the marketing slogans and the reality of the journey from cow to beef.

What does farm direct mean?

We have all herd the terms, farm direct, farm gate, farm to plate, farm to fridge etc. While the concept of these terms might evoke images of a farmer slaughtering, butchering, and packaging meat directly on their farm for sale, the reality is usually quite different.

Terms implying meat is straight from farm to the consumer often mean that the farmer has more control of the process, as opposed to undertaking all processes on farm. In such cases farmers are more likely to use a local butcher and potentially a smaller slaughter yard, though it is true some may use some of the same processors as supermarkets

Why is beef marketed as farm direct?

The growing popularity of direct-to-consumer marketing or farmer to fridge platforms allows producers to sell their products directly to consumers. This has been beneficial for farmers as it increases their profit margin by eliminating middlemen and also strengthens their relationship with consumers. 

Is farm direct meat safe?

Every state in Australia has regulated the slaughter of animals, the processing of meat and it's transportation and retailers need to be certified (there are some limited exemptions). There is a growing number of hobby farmers offering farm to consumer direct meat, potentially these farmers may not be aware of the requirements. Failing to use accredited processors does not necessarily mean the meat is not safe, but the risk that it isn't is higher and penalties can be significant.To make an informed decision you can ask if the animal was slaughtered in an accredited facility, the meat transported (at all times) in a certified vehicle and was the meat butchered and packed by an accredited facility.


There seems to be a growing appreciation for local produce and a shift towards supporting local producers, like butchers and bakers. This has resulted in marketing the journey from paddock to plate as a single step process with terms like farm to fork, but the realities of the regulatory environment mean there is often a number organisations invovled in getting meat to the consumer.

Most farmers really do care about their animals and will take greater pride in their product. Buying from a local farmer can mean more money in your local community or less leacing Australia, a lot of people agree that this is a good thing. Whilst farm direct may not mean exactly what it implies we think it is still a great way to buy and we hope you get yours on The Farmers Lot.