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Our History

Our History

A proud Queensland family business 

Australian Country Choice is part of the Lee Group Pty Ltd, a Queensland company, privately owned and operated by the Lee family.

The family business first commenced as H.J. Lee & Sons in 1958. The company progressed to rural activities in the Roma district in 1967 and developed one of Australia's first commercial beef cattle feedlots built at Brindley Park in the 1970s.

The company's relationship with Coles was initiated in 1974 by Norm and Trevor Lee and started with the supply of grain finished cattle . In 1995, a long term contract was formalised between the parties, to provide a platform for the development of an integrated supply chain dedicated to Coles. This integration encompasses, cattle breeding, cattle backgrounding (growing), grain feeding, primary processing, exporting, further processing, retail packing and primary distribution services.

Today, ACC remains the principal supplier to Coles for their range of fresh beef under the Coles Finest, Coles butcher, Aussie Bites, Coles Grill and Drovers Pride branded product range.

Australian Country Choice - Historic Timeline (Properties and Live Stock)

1958   Lee Family group entity established
1968   Commenced commercial cattle breeding & fattening operations
1972   Pioneered & developed one of Australia’s first cattle feedlots
1974   Commenced livestock supply to Coles
1975   Purchased second commercial cattle operation
1975   Purchased second commercial cattle operation
1975 - 1989   Commenced contracted supply of livestock over–the–hooks to Coles
1989 - current   Purchased & developed the Brisbane Valley feedlot
at Coles for dedicated supply
1998   Purchase Babbiloora Station - Augathella (breeding & backgrounding)
1998   Purchase Redford Station - Mungallala (breeding & backgrounding)
1999   Purchase Wellclose Station - Adavale (breeding & backgrounding)
2000   Purchased Chesterton Station - Augathella (breeding & backgrounding)
2000   Purchase Niella property - Roma (farming & backgrounding)
2001   Purchase Listowel Valley - Adavale (breeding & backgrounding)
2001   Purchased Mooga South - Roma (farming & backgrounding)
2001   Purchase Black Mountain & Gifford - Adavale (breeding & backgrounding)
2002   Purchase Bundilla – Roma (farming & backgrounding)
2002   Lease Mt Tabor Station - (indigenous Land Council) Augathella (breeding)
2004   Leased Dooloogarah – Augathella (breeding & backgrounding)
2004   Leased Mooga Hills - Roma (farming & backgrounding)
2004   Management lease YoYo Park - Morven (backgrounding)
2004   Management lease Oakwood - Augathella (backgrounding)
2005   Major capacity expansion – Brindley Park Feedlot (15,000 scu's)
2005   Purchased Hay Roma - Roma (irrigated fodder / farming & backgrounding)
2006   Leased Gunnadoo - Collinsville (backgrounding)
2010   Leased OK - Roma (farming & backgrounding)
2010   Implementation of no added hormone program across livestock supply chain
2011   Roma Cattle Co - purchase Mooga Hills (farming / backgrounding)
2011   Roma Cattle Co - purchase Mooga West (backgrounding)
2011   Roma Cattle Co - purchase Boomerang (farming / backgrounding)
2011   Roma Cattle Co - purchase Dungowan (breeding / backgrounding)

 

Australian Country Choice - Historic timeline Beef Processing

 

1989 - 1995   Annual rolling Carcass supply agreement to Coles via third party provider
1995   Commenced dedicated Boning operations - in own right (Cannon Hill)
1995   Coles relocate their state meat office & staff to ACC at Cannon Hill
1996   Purchased Coominya abattoirs (adjacent BVCC)
1997   Resumed contract slaughter and own boning operations - Cannon Hill
2000   Purchased Cannon Hill site and operations from Q-Govt
2000   Commenced Fresh Sausage manufacturing for Coles
2000   Commenced Pumped meat manufacturing for Coles
2001   Commenced Certified Organic processing for Coles
2001   Constructed new Slaughter floor complex
2001   Constructed new Rendering facility & Bio filter
2001   Commenced exporting and external sales program
2001   Commenced fresh shelf ready Hamburger manufacturing for Coles
2001   Commenced fresh beef Retail Ready packing for Coles
2003   Commissioned integrated gallery to Swire Cold Storage distribution
2003   Refurbished further processing & value add facility
2004   Commissioned new Sausage & Pumped meat facility
2005   Commission shelf ready offal packaging line for Coles retail distribution
2005   Commission crumbing & coating line shelf ready packaging and retail distribution
2005   Commissioned full Traceability boning room
2006   Commission Retail Ready cutting and packaging plant Stage 1 of 3
2010   Major refurbishment of beef boning room
2011   Implementation of no added hormone beef processing program
2011   Implementation of set weight processes for retail ready packing
2011   Implementation of raising claims for fat content on labels for retail ready mince products
2011   Program implementation for Coles Finest branded beef products for northern distribution
2011   Commenced national coordination role for export & external sales
2012   Program implementation and product launch for Drovers Pride branded beef product range