Success for Chalmar Beef at the 2021 Meat Awards Awards
Chalmar Beef was one of the stars at the 2021 Meat Awards, and we asked marketing manager Anja Bands a few questions about the Chalmar Beef success story.
Please tell us when your company was founded and some of its history?
Chalmar Beef was registered in March 1969, before the first moon landing by Neil Armstrong.
Our founder, Wimpie Wethmar started feeding cattle at the age of sixteen on a plot in Kempton Park. He bought his first four steers with money he made working weekends on a chicken farm. He sold the four steers for a handsome profit, and this was the beginning of the dream of CHALMAR.
After school, Wimpie started working for Mr. Challinor, in Bapsfontein and soon integrated cattle into the chicken farm. The name CHALMAR is a combination of the two surnames. The CHAL from Challinor and the MAR from WETHMAR.
Wimpie met his future wife, Pat, in 1977 and they were married a few months later. Together they achieved great things and built a legacy. From humble beginnings, Chalmar Beef grew over the years but Wimpie’s vision was never to be the biggest but rather the best. “Chalmar would be known for the best beef eating experience” he would say.
A state-of-the-art abattoir was built in 2001. Wimpie’s children, Willem Wethmar (CEO) and Sarah Wethmar (Director) together with their dedicated teams have been instrumental in achieving recognition in the industry and have managed to rope in numerous awards. FSSC certification was achieved in 2017.
Chalmar Beef stepped into unchartered waters in 2015 and was the first fully integrated beef producer to sell beef online.
In 2016 Chalmar Beef realised that they needed to offer more quality to the consumer and added lamb to the basket.
What are some of the unique features of your company?
We have complete control over the whole production chain, ensuring our ability to produce consistent quality.
We plant over 1 000ha of maize, soybeans, and sorghum. Manure from the feedlot forms the backbone of our fertilisation programme on our pastures and crop soils. Regular soil analysis is done to customise our fertilisation programme.
The right amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and energy form part of our feeding program to ensure a healthy and strong immune system and to maximise the animal’s growth potential. We do not use any beta-agonists (including Zilpaterol).
Our animals are walked over to the abattoir, which is far less stressful than transportation by truck. Stress elimination for our animals is one of our main aims, which is essential to ensure a quality product. All our animals are fully integrated into our production system. Chalmar cattle and lamb are specific meat breeds. No market-ready animals are processed to ensure full traceability.
Chalmar Beef can house 19 000 cattle on pasture. All young calves under 200kg go onto pasture and are pasture reared for 3 to 5 months before entering the feedlot.
The supply of cattle to feedlots is very seasonal in South Africa. This leads to shortages of beef during certain times of the year. By rearing young cattle on pasture, we ensure a consistent supply of cattle to the feedlot and ultimately beef on your plate throughout the year.
All lamb produced by Chalmar is from lambs fed in our new dedicated lamb feedlot facilities. We do not buy in any market-ready lambs and therefore maintain control over the entire feedlot and abattoir production phase to give our consumers peace of mind.
Being a fully integrated company, we employ people from all walks of life and levels of skill. People can express their talents in diverse fields ranging from accounting to stockmanship to various highly skilled trades. Chalmar Beef has a philosophy of promoting people from within the ranks. This necessitates the early identification of potential in people to provide them with the opportunity to excel through skills development & training.
What are some of the unique features of your manufacturing process and your manufacturing philosophy?
Our philosophy has always been that we don’t want to be the biggest, we want to be THE BEST.
In which countries can your products be found?
South Africa | China | Southern African Development Community [SADC] | United Arab Emirates [UAE] | Jordan