John Mauger’s father opened up the family’s first butcher shop in Burrawang in 1972. Since then, the skills of meat production and processing have been passed through generations, evolving into a local business that values high-quality meat and a deep respect for animals.
“I go to the sale yards and buy store cattle,” says John. “I bring them home to the lush Burrawang farm and put them out to pasture. I grow them for 6 months, then I load them into the truck and take them to the abattoir. I bring them back and we age them in our cool room.” This level of control from purchase to processing means Mauger’s can produce the highest-quality meat possible. As John explains, “I can use passive techniques to get the cattle to go where I want them to. I can put them into a paddock and move them around regularly; they’re never stressed, they’re happy animals.”
After being grown on Burrawang grass, the cattle are placed in the trusted hands of John’s son Matthew – who runs the Burrawang and Moss Vale butcher shops. Together, they supply locals and many Southern Highlands chefs with Mauger’s meats. John says it’s their involvement across the lifecycle of their products that separates Mauger’s meat from many larger retailers.
“We’ve operated in Burrawang for 40 years, and in the last two years we’ve opened a shop in Moss Vale. There are people nowadays that want to know what they’re eating, and we can tell them – we control everything, it’s our meat and it’s a great product. And people are looking for that sort of thing.”