Lismore City News

Returning home to celebrate our beef industry and community

Bindaree Food Group CEO, Andrew McDonald, centre, with Ryan McDonald, left, and Matisse McDonald, right. Picture supplied
Bindaree Food Group CEO, Andrew McDonald, centre, with Ryan McDonald, left, and Matisse McDonald, right. Picture supplied

This is branded content for Bindaree Food Group.

Returning to its roots, to where it all began, Bindaree Food Group were the proud hosts of 2024's Casino Beef Week Industry Dinner at Casino in May.

Founder of Bindaree, John (JR) McDonald, started out in livestock and cattle buying in 1951 at the Northern Co-Operative Meat Company, NCMC, now the Casino Food Co-op.

John's lifelong passion for the cattle industry was born in Casino. This dedication led him to establish his own wholesale beef company, JR Meats, in 1965, which also initiated a service kill agreement with NCMC.

Over the years, JR McDonald transformed the humble family business from the Northern Rivers into one of Australia's largest meat processors, now operating sites in Inverell, Burleigh Heads, Brisbane, Cooma, Croppa Creek, Sydney, as well as several international offices.

The Dinner, a regular on the Casino Beef Week calendar, was the perfect opportunity to reminisce on Bindaree's growth while celebrating the Australian cattle industry in arguably the 'Beef Capital' of Australia.

Hosted by Bindaree Food Group CEO, Andrew McDonald, son of founder JR McDonald, the 80-plus guest list included beef industry luminaries and honoured guests such as Cr Robert Mustow, Cr Stephen Morrisey, Hon Kevin Hogan MP, and Richie Williamson MP.

The company launched their newest brand, 'The Founder - J.R. McDonald', with the help of a very special guest, John Lee, left, and John Newton. Picture supplied
The company launched their newest brand, 'The Founder - J.R. McDonald', with the help of a very special guest, John Lee, left, and John Newton. Picture supplied

President of Casino Beef Week, Brody Lisha, was delighted with Bindaree Food Group's participation on the night and indeed throughout the week.

"Casino Beef Week was thrilled to have Bindaree Food Group come on board as a major sponsor for Beef Week 2024," he said.

"Their commitment and enthusiasm were evident throughout the event, making a significant impact on our community."

The company also used the opportunity to launch their newest brand, premium quality range, 'The Founder - J.R. McDonald', with the help of a very special guest, John Lee, the first ever employee of Bindaree from its start in Casino in 1951.

Following a meal showcasing Bindaree's finest beef, the crowd enjoyed a fascinating discussion about the current issues impacting the beef production industry moderated by Larry Anthony AO, from the SAS Group.

After dinner discussion with host Larry Anthony AO (from the SAS Group), Ripley Atkinson Manager, Australian Livestock & Commodities of Stone X Group and Andrew McDonald. Picture supplied
After dinner discussion with host Larry Anthony AO (from the SAS Group), Ripley Atkinson Manager, Australian Livestock & Commodities of Stone X Group and Andrew McDonald. Picture supplied

Ripley Atkinson, Manager, Australian Livestock & Commodities of Stone X Group, joined Andrew McDonald, for an industry panel discussion, delving into various topics, from cattle prices to labour structures, offering insights and keeping the audience engaged.

One of the core values of the Bindaree Food Group has always been their culture of care and this was again demonstrated as they donated $6,000 for Jumbunna Community Preschool.

The money was raised through a live auction led by Alan Ramsey on the night, as well as from all the proceeds of their Beef Week Saturday mechanical bull rides.

 Pictured: Noeline Olive (Jumbunna Board President), Nerrida Kyle (Head of People & Culture, Bindaree Food Group), Karen McDermott (Jumbunna General Manager), Cheryl Simpkins (Jumbunna Board Secretary), Steve Morrissey (Jumbunna Board Vice President). Picture supplied
Pictured: Noeline Olive (Jumbunna Board President), Nerrida Kyle (Head of People & Culture, Bindaree Food Group), Karen McDermott (Jumbunna General Manager), Cheryl Simpkins (Jumbunna Board Secretary), Steve Morrissey (Jumbunna Board Vice President). Picture supplied

"We are incredibly proud to announce that Bindaree Food Group's efforts and initiatives during Beef Week 2024 raised over $6000 for Jumbuna Community Preschool," Mr Lisha said.

"This generous contribution will make a lasting difference for the children and families in our community."

Mr Lisha is looking forward to a future partnership.

"Bindaree Food Group's support has been invaluable, and we look forward to continuing this fantastic partnership.

"Their involvement has truly elevated Beef Week 2024, and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment to our event and our community," he said.