First thing’s first. We do not sell organic meat. That is our niche. At Cannings, our emphasis is on animal welfare and clean natural farming practices. Organic is all of these, but with organic certification. However, certification is a very expensive process, which doesn’t guarantee a higher standard of animal welfare. We feel that ethically farmed meat should be eaten by everybody – not just those who can afford organic.
About Free Range
Just Like Organic
Our selected free range animals are free from growth hormones, antibiotics and are not genetically modified. They are clean and healthy animals from some of the best producers in Victoria and Tasmania.
Did You Know?
The majority of Australian beef (and the world’s beef) is either grain supplemented or completely grain fed, which means time spent in a feedlot. BUT NOT OUR BEEF! We only stock 100% pasture fed beef and lamb from Victoria and Tasmania, that have never spent time in a feedlot. Don’t forget – grass fed beef is better for you. Click here
Free Range Means
That for no period of time, the animal has been confined to a cage, pen, stall, crate or feed lot. It means that they are free to express natural behaviour, in a natural environment.
A Feed Lot Is
A farm that is divided into many sections, where the cattle or sheep are fed grain and water until they reach slaughtering weight. The benefit for farmers is that they reach this weight much quicker in a feedlot as there is less space to move around, more cattle per square meter and it’s much cheaper to produce. Because cows in feedlots are crowded, they are more likely to become sick, and more likely to be given routine antibiotics and growth hormones.
Born and raised in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne, I spent my early childhood growing up in the Mordialloc area, before moving to Hampton, then South Melbourne. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet, or an arachnologist (spider scientist). Although fate had a different plan. So after completing my butchers’ apprenticeship (2002) at a Hampton butcher shop, and a short period of time butchering for both leading supermarkets, I chose to pursue professional ambitions abroad.
Whilst living in London, I worked for The Ginger Pig – a business that farmed their own pigs, cows, and lambs in Yorkshire and sold them through their London shop and Borough Market stall. I returned to Melbourne and landed a management role with the Polkinghornes group, in Albert Park – another paddock to plate style, boutique butcher. It was during the time spent with Polkinghornes that I decided to channel all of my experience into my own venture. After six months of business planning, my first day of trading at CANNINGS was 18th July 2010.
Now and the future
Thanks to my great staff and supportive client base, Cannings now has three stores (Kew, Hawthorn, and Malvern) and employs over 35 staff – most of whom are local to these areas. Online home delivery is a large part of our business and one of biggest growth areas. In 2016 we will be putting a lot of effort to further develop online sales as there are no new retail stores planned for 2016.
Things have certainly changed a lot in the last two years and my role has changed along with it. The hours I used to spend on the counter serving my valued customers are now spent overseeing store management and processes, marketing, driving product development, managing supplier relations, human resources, staff recruitment, and training. I absolutely love the (very few) hours I manage to get on a cutting bench each week and I still get a buzz out of serving my customers and talking about food!
Cannings Butchers was founded on great service, great product and a genuine interest in customer satisfaction and animal welfare. These values are everything to me and they will always ring true, no matter how big we get. Every product, every decision or idea that has been implemented into the business has come through my hands. This business is still very young and I am very hungry to make it the best it can be. At the moment, I’m doing a Monday to Friday week and tend to be based at the Kew store or in our head office which is also in Kew.