Hunter region beef producer, heavily impacted by China bans, delivers food to the tables of those doing it tough in western Sydney
11 August 2020 | (AGLive Release)
For Macka’s Australian Black Angus Beef producer Robert Mackenzie, he knows full well what it is like to battle the natural disasters that have struck his 4th generation operation in Gloucester in his lifetime.
From crippling droughts, fires and economic downturns, the Mackenzie family have seen it all. The Macka’s team undoubtedly did not see COVID 19 coming and how it would devastate local communities worldwide.
Mackenzie says, ” It feels like this is an inner-city drought, just like what we experience with mother nature when she stops the rain or extreme heat starts catastrophic fires. When this happens, we are always met with the true Aussie spirit from the city, and as a family, we feel it is our turn to give back to these communities.”
He decided he wanted to help and donate produce, so he reached out to the chef community and got his friend and MLA Executive Chef Samuel Burke to help cook the produce for inner-city communities.
With chef Burke being in lockdown in his area of Guildford, they decided that Cumberland City Council was the best place to start giving back through the power of food, flavour and spirit.
Burke says, “Auburn, Berala, Granville, Greystanes, Guildford, Guildford West and Holroyd are some of the areas that have been hard hit through this second round of lockdown. I could not sit around and watch my neighbour struggle. When Robert called me, I just had to help in any possible way.”
Macka’s Australian Black Angus Beef have come together with the Holroyd Centre and the Cumberland City Council to serve the community. Macka’s will be donating 300kg Halal Macka’s Black Angus Beef to roll out a beef menu of lasagne, cottage pie and 1kg raw beef parcels.
The Macka’s family wants to help by supplying quality produce to create food made with love that will bring some positivity back to the community in these difficult times. Says Mackenzie, “It’s tough times for people living on their own, families and couples. It’s essential that we all give back in any way possible, and it all starts with a smile.”
Macka’s Black Angus is one of the beef producers hit by banks of exports to China. At the time of the bans he told The Australian, “I speak to 20 or 30 people in China a day.”
“We have been selling high-quality Australian beef to China since 2015. I have visited China 14 times. We have just taken an order for 150 grain-fed Angus beef which we will ship next week. Nothing has changed. My customers in China are asking me when I am coming to visit them, and I am asking them when they are coming here to see me. My relationship with my customers in China is as strong today as it was last week, as it was last year.”
In the meantime, Mackenzie is clearly committed to Australians who have challenges of their own in the midst of the current coronavirus lockdowns.