EPIC Chicken Co. is a small family farm on a very big journey. We produce pastured chicken, raised regeneratively, and processed on-farm in our first-of-its-kind high-volume multi-species mobile poultry abattoir.
We believe that nutritious, flavourful food does not have to be reminiscent of our grandparents’ generation. That a roast chicken, with a depth of flavour you’ve long forgotten, can return to our tables once again and be accessible to anyone who pleases.
We believe that the best way to produce this quality of chicken is to use farming practices that mimic animal behaviour in the natural world and regenerate our land, engaging in high-welfare management and removing the stress of transportation from the equation with mobile processing units.
We also know that it’s a rarity to find chicken produced this way and we believe that in order to have any meaningful impact on our food systems, our environment and our own health, we need to seriously ramp up scale of pastured chicken in this nation for everyone to have this choice.
The issue is that the vertically integrated, centralised industrial poultry industry is a highly fragile supply chain system in and of itself and is also prohibitive to micro and small-scale producers needing one of only three industrial processing plants left in the state of NSW.
That is why, in order to strengthen our supply chains, empower small to middle-ag farms and create a more resilient food system, we’ve developed a mobile poultry abattoir that can process chickens and other species at a volume significant enough to scale pastured chicken in our region and have meaningful impact on our food system, our environment and our community.
We’re not just about good chicken, we’re about innovating our way to a sustainable solution, both environmentally and economically. With scale, we can feed more people. With scale, we can regenerate more land. With scale, we can begin to reduce the price of a labour-of-love product due to the benefits of economies of scale and we can do this without compromise to the integrity of the product.
We identified this need for innovation a few years ago and our mobile abattoir was developed with the support of an AusIndustry grant for regional jobs and investment.
Our suspicions were confirmed during our experience throughout the Black Saturday bushfires followed by flooding and Covid-19. After fire tore through our family farm and our entire region on NYE 2019, our roads were cut off from the north, from the south and from the west, leaving coastline our only point of entry or escape. Our supermarkets were empty, and our fuel was rationed. Only 6 weeks later, flooding cut off many roads once again. It was a scary and uncertain time for all in our region.
Then, a pandemic demonstrated once again the fragility of our food system and supply chains and the economic disaster that ensued, impacting every human being in some way shape or form and digging deeper the wounds in our bushfire affected region that relies heavily on tourism as part of its recovery.
Agriculture will play a huge part in our nation’s recovery and we’d like it to play a huge part in our region’s recovery as well.
Our family farm grew from 500 laying hens to 10,000 laying hens in a pastured rotational system in 3 short years, proving that pastured food systems can be scaled without compromise to its integrity. We produced rich, tasty eggs and delivered up and down the Eastern Seaboard from Melbourne, through the South Coast, Sydney and into Brisbane. We would game scenarios of how we would scale this system 10-fold across the plains of the Monaro. And then as new opportunities presented in 2019, we sold the layer business and began our pivot into pastured meat chickens.
A bushfire on NYE delayed this transition significantly, right on the cusp of full-time production. Though the road is now longer and windier to get there, our vision has not changed. Our will has not changed. And we’ve demonstrated perseverance, innovation and problem solving to remain in the game despite the challenges we’ve faced.
Starting right now, we’re bringing you pastured chicken like your grandparents used to eat, and we’re executing our plan to bring that opportunity to as many people as possible, feeding our local community and our capital cities. We’re creating a more resilient food system, driving a premium product to our market, and will continue to strive to build a vibrant agricultural region through growth and diversification, and to do this without compromise to the integrity of our products.