Hunter Valley Cattle farmer David Lombardo is carving out a niche business selling top quality beef direct to Sydney households.
Once a fortnight, he selects a prime yearling, sends it to the abattoir, has it butchered and markets it online.
In one way, it’s an attempt to bypass the big supermarkets and add value to his product, but he’s also driven by animal welfare.
“I love my cattle. They’re raised straight off their mums. They never leave the farm. They’re free-ranging, grass-fed, they’re not pumped full of hormones or antibiotics, they’re not sent off to a feedlot. They live a really nice happy life right until the end.”
He began by selling beef by the box—one beast was divided into eight and customers got about 20kg at $18 a kg.
While that was fine for the big meat eaters, big families or people with deep freezers, it didn’t suit everyone. He recently revamped his Hunter Valley Cattle website so customers can now buy anything from a single eye fillet steak to a rib roast.
At the same time, he registered as a trader on the Qoin cryptocurrency platform.
Orders flood in on crypto
“Nothing much happened for a few days. I thought nothing was going to come of it but it didn’t really matter. It was almost like set and forget.”
Then he got his first Qoin customer… and the orders haven’t stopped.
“Whoever I do business with loves it. When I say I’m new to Qoin, they offer to sit me down and talk me through it. They’re so enthusiastic,” David says.
“People are willing to pay on the spot, even when they know their beef won’t be delivered for three weeks. They say ‘I want to support your business; I want to support you’. It seems like a community. I really like that about Qoin.”
David isn’t quite sure where his new Qoin business will take him. At this stage, the conventional cattle trade remains his core business.
But he says the direct marketing has given him insight into his customers: what cuts of meat they prefer, the price points that change buying habits, and how to get people to try something different.
“Getting that kind of feedback has been really educational for me, being new to retail.”
Looking to the future with Qoin
As for Qoin, at this stage he’s content to build up his wallet. He’s not interested in buying luxury objects or going out for dinner. He has an idea Qoin might come to play a more important role in his business.
“I’d like to build it up to the point where I can use it to trade with other businesses,” he says.
“Where I can say to my butcher, the abattoir and the transport agent—‘Have you thought about using Qoin?’ If I can get to that stage, it would reduce my risk and really benefit the business.”