Private selling beef


Have a pair of chx want to take on and finish and want to sell them privately as meat. (Not FABBL and sell most cattle as stores).
Wanted to know how other people do it, sell a mix of cuts in a box?? Or find a 3 or 4 punters to take them and let them decide how to divide it up??
And what sort of price??
Have a pair of chx want to take on and finish and want to sell them privately as meat. (Not FABBL and sell most cattle as stores).
Wanted to know how other people do it, sell a mix of cuts in a box?? Or find a 3 or 4 punters to take them and let them decide how to divide it up??
And what sort of price??
It is a lot of work but the returns will be better than selling to ABP. However you will need to comply with lots of food hygiene and rules and regulations.
I am also not sure that great big Charolais X's are the ideal cattle for box schemes as they get too big. Remember that you will need to mince a large proportion.
Much easier to have it pre sold.
I presume you have a chiller etc to do this?

Tim W

Plenty of people do a better job than me ---look at the farm offers on line for examples
I do a variety of things;
1) have a buyer who only wants the fillet and pays top notch for it
2) sell boxes of 10kg with a mixture of cuts at a set price
3) Sell whatever anyone wants at my price

I have a butcher who knows what he is doing so really leave the cutting to him---he cuts it when it is ready and in the way he thinks best
Usually i research prices of various cuts and he then puts the price etc on the label for me
If it's all vac packed and sorted by the butcher you reduce the legal requirements you have to adhere to
Somewhere i have a list of cuts/prices/kill out if it's of interest?
Here's what we do.

Mince, stew, sausage, in half kg bags.
Sirloin, frying, rib eye and rump steaks individually blast frozen in bags of 4
Fillets in pairs (more if from the thin end)
Roasts around 1.2kg, I've found demand for bigger to be rare, and people can always roast more than one if they have a big group to feed.

We don't do burgers, people can buy mince and chop an onion to make their own.
Sausages are the only thing we sell that isn't gluten free.

I've generally sold cuts individually, we used to sell 10kg mixed packs, but have found it better to give people what they want.
Some folks told me 15 or so years ago that I'd be left with cheaper cuts, but I've yet to find that to be the case.

Pan mixer

Mixed Farmer
Near Colchester
We do a bit of both, £100 boxes of mixed and individual bits.

Have it hung for 3 weeks or so too. Lots gets minced and to burgers, mixed varieties, they sell well in the summer. Joints are less popular than you think with the wider public.

Old Tip

Some good advice above, the main thing I would add is get it cut up and labelled properly otherwise you can end up in trouble
plenty of people going this on the net. Trouble is the business is not unique so selling 2 in one go youll need a lot of customers. Also youll get the usual friends and families who say we havent got freezer space so can you give us a few packs of steaks and a prime roast - no! Been there done that only do it for own freezer its never worth the hassle and te margin isnt as good as it initially feels. Finding decent butcher and good packaging is the first hurdle.


Mixed Farmer
We do a couple of year. Local abbatoir and butcher. Gets vac packed and labelled. We have one guy that takes a quarter off of one animal which is really handy as clears a big chunk in one go for slightly cheaper. We have a quarter then the rest goes in 10kg boxes. Don’t have trouble selling it but the margin isn’t as great as you would think as already said.




@buttercup , I do a few lambs but whilst very profitable mainly only to keep friends and family happy, do an odd beast for similar reasons. If not done before I would be nervous doing two at once, it is a lot of meat, whilst it is good advice speaking to an informed butcher, what I would throw in as hopefully better advice is to have at least a quarter of meat spoken for before it’s killed. Obviously only then 75% to shift which is still a lot, but at least you can tell your butcher what customer wants, as much as he may know, he doesn’t know your customer they are all different. Family size , or no family will determine whether packs of mince easier in 250/750 g packs, fillet steaks in packs of ....? Roasting joints cut to sizes of ...? You can sell to a customer massively cheaper and still increase profits by a fair whack, lamb normally sell at double price received through dw and saves customer about 40% if bought joint for joint through supermarket. But if not sized up or chops ribs packed not to their requirements then they won’t come back, or complaints, so much easier and more profitable to know as much detail in advance and then you can command a price. Those figures I said mainly through half friends known through pub wanting lamb, not customers you would charge more to if actually trying to sell it to them!!

Tim G

When we first had our longhorns we sold a couple of steers each year in 1/8 boxes. Roughly speaking a 600kg live animal would be 300kg dead, hung for 4 weeks and butchered would give us 200kg of beef to sell, or ~25kg per box. We sold at 10/kg, mainly to family and friends through word of mouth. It was okay for a bit, then we'd have someone who'd only want steaks, others would want a smaller box (joints then were too small) and always seemed to have someone pull out at the last minute because they'd forgot they had ordered one and they'd filled the freezer with chips because they were on special offer last week.
We now offer three sizes of box which have a mix of different cuts in which we don't push too hard but sell a few off each animal. Quite a few lately we've couriered across the country as we had an article about the farm in Country Living Magazine, which generated interest. The rest we sell mainly as individual cuts through our very basic farm shop. We get a very good service from Clarkes Farmers Butchers at Bramfield (in case anyone's looking for a butcher) who cut and pack how we want it, as well as label with our name and price it for us ready to sell. The last but one animal we had done was a touch over 300 kgs dead, we added up the retail value of all the meat we got back, which came to a bit over £2,800. Minus the butchery costs of ~£500 left us with approx £2,300. We would have been lucky to get half that selling live weight in our local market.
Yes it is a bit more hastle, but as we are fairly small scale, we have to grab as much margin as possible and keep it in our own pockets. Its okay everyone saying its not worth doing one or two a year, and maybe to them it isn't, but you've got to start somewhere. We're now sending an animal every 5-6 weeks and it's becoming a bit more worthwhile for us.
when working out the margin dont forget to set at least £800 - £1000 for the costs if you sold fat and cost of raising the animal - it is not pure profit. Costs of putting in the stock box and taking it to the abbattoir this has to be costed in with time too then if you collect. store and chill. Our overheads came in buying a huge walk in fridge, really nice sticky labels, box and packaging, advertising, phone calls and chasing sales. Weighing scales with labeling machine, spending hours out delivering. (I also had a refridgerated van). The stories I could tell you on people not turning up, not answering phones, freezing tons of beef, butcher messing up, butcher not hanging the beef properly (hanging should be done in a hanging fridge which is dry), really rustic butchery, poor vac packing, delivering when someone was out then having to go back later. In the end the whole business made us go into the black. Overheads can be high with a very small meat business. As with small outfit you need to buy in bulk for boxes, freeezer packs, labelling etc. The issue is unless you have a brilliant butcher or lucky to have onsite facilities you cant supply to demands on requests. Then your messing around putting requested cuts in the right box and this should be done in chilled room. This could be a day gone sorting this (labour must be costed in). Final straw was when we did 5 pigs a few years ago when all those people who said theyd have half changed their mind. I had one guy who said he was on his way up after not answering his phone for days - never arrived. Too many people are full of shite and its flippin heart breaking after all that effort. I swore Id never do it again only for our freezer.

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