12 Aug 2022

Putting a steak in the ground with heritage breed

From Country Life, 9:39 pm on 12 August 2022

Two brothers have combined their skills to launch a paddock to plate business selling purebred Galloway meat products.

Adam and Eddie Rivett

Adam and Eddie Rivett Photo: Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Chopped Butchery is based on a farm at Morven in South Canterbury. The cattle are reared by farmer Adam and butchered by Eddie.

"We'd be the only butchery in New Zealand we know of that specialises in Galloway beef," Adam said.

The Rivett brothers have not been farming Galloways for long. Up until the middle of last year, they were rearing al ot of beef-cross dairy calves.

"The amount of work involved in that for the return wasn't really wonderful so that's why we tried doing something else," Adam said.

The shaggy coated cattle graze on the slopes of the family farm just north of the Waitaki River.

"We've got a small White Galloway herd and a Belted herd, so the Belted herd are more the commercial breed that we're using for the butchery," Adam said.

When Country Life visited the farm, it was wet, windy and cold, but the herd did not seem to mind thanks to their double coat which provides excellent protection.

"It's the coat that makes the meat great too, without that double coat you wouldn't get the marbling."

Chopped Butchery

Photo: Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

When cattle are ready to be slaughtered, they are trucked to Ashburton then brought back to the farm, stamped and ready for butchering.

The butchery is based in three Ministry for Primary Industries approved containers. In one of them, several carcasses hang beside hand-made sausages.

Being a whole beef butchery, Eddie said they could supply customers with a lot more than just the standard cuts.

"Tongues and cheeks are quite popular," he said. "You'd be surprised at what people want."

Chopped butchery meat products are sold at farmers markets in Waimate and Oamaru and via the brother's online shop.

"Most of their customers want to know where the meat comes from," Eddie said.

When they started, he expected most customers would be from Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, but he has been pleasantly surprised.

"People from Waimate and our locals have got behind us and have supported us really well, so we're really thankful for that."

Adam reacted modestly when Country Life suggested their own story added value and accountability to the products they sell.

"Well it's just two brothers really, one a farmer and one a butcher on a bit of land with a container and some animals, it's not rocket science."

Come summer, the Rivett brothers expect to be butchering three cattle a week.

Galloway Cattle

Photo: Eddie Rivett

Chopped Butchery

Photo: Cosmo Kentish-Barnes