From trauma to business transformation

1620 1080 In Good Company | Northern Rivers

Our Cow

85 Dyraaba St, Casino

Visit Richmond Valley Northern Rivers-01
From trauma to business transformation

For Casino-based meat providers Our Cow, the last three years have seen remarkable, game-changing growth. And that’s one heck of an achievement when you consider everything that’s been thrown at the small business in that time.

Our Cow is a paddock-to-plate service that delivers grass-fed, organic, free-range meat directly to people’s doors across Australia. Owned and operated by Bianca Tarrant and Dave McGiveron, Our Cow started selling beef online in March 2019. Back then, the business was emerging from a crippling drought that had affected agriculture across the nation. 

The Black Summer bushfires of 2019 and 2020 were months away, and the Covid-19 pandemic would arrive approximately a year into their operations. Resilience and determination, then, have been central themes in Our Cow’s still relatively short life. 

“It really nearly crippled us, it was absolutely horrendous,” says Bianca of those early days. “We spent four months fighting fires and we were also in the middle of the drought. It just puts so much financial, emotional and physical stress on your body and your mind. It was really traumatic and difficult for all of us to get through that time,” she says. 

“But if we weren’t put in that position, we probably wouldn’t have made the decision to try and do something different.”

That “something different” was the launch of the Our Cow subscription service, an initiative that has transformed the business, giving more security and stability to both themselves and the farmers they work with, and more tailored options for consumers. 

“It’s about giving people in the city the opportunity to support farmers through their food choices”

“We were put in such a position that we needed to make a change to future-proof ourselves so that we wouldn’t be as badly as affected if [bushfire and drought] came around again. People can sign up and get a box of meat delivered to their door every two, four or six weeks. It’s really flexible – you can choose the cuts of meat you want, you can change your box and there are no lock-in contracts. It’s about giving people in the city the opportunity to support farmers through their food choices.”

The subscription service played a big role in seeing Our Cow through the challenges of the pandemic. Indeed, you could say the subscription model came into its own during this time. An essential service, Our Cow was able to deliver food to people in lockdown for whom a supermarket visit was not possible – and the business’s profile has grown and grown as a result. “We were quite lucky – Covid helped us out in a few different ways,” says Bianca. 

Our Cow is fast becoming one of the largest employers of the Casino region, employing over 40 people across a number of areas of the business. Bianca and Dave’s commitment to supporting their staff, and the community, is evidenced by how they responded to the devastating Northern Rivers floods of early 2022. Though not badly affected themselves (“We were actually on a small island – everywhere else around us flooded,” says Bianca), many staff members from Lismore, Coraki and Woodburn had their homes destroyed. Our Cow promptly raised $25,000 for them.

As a young couple with ambition, Bianca and Dave took a significant punt in buying their property and setting up their business – coupled with all the trauma of the last three years. But the rewards are profound, and Bianca’s advice to any young people with similar dreams is, simply, to just do it. 

“I would say if you were looking to purchase a farm, start small. We purchased what we could afford – we didn’t have ambitions of running a thousand cows and having a massive property, we bought what we could afford and just started. Having the ability to start is important – it’s difficult for young people to get on to the land in the first place. Nothing is perfect, so you’re better off just starting than waiting for it to be perfect.”

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