Get your Christmas orders in today! ORDER NOW

Our Produce

Grass Fed Beef & Lamb

Grazed only on the most lush pastures of Tasmana, Victoria and Southern NSW, our beef and lamb have never been fed corn, soy or grain, ever! This is what farming should be—ruminant animals moving freely over pasture, enriching the soil and improving the overall health of the land. Our most significant suppliers are Cape Grim (beef), Pinnacle (beef), Lamb of Tasmania and Roaring Forties Lamb.

Free Range Chicken & Turkey

Running free from their sheds in secured environments by day, before choosing to return to their sheds at night. Our free range chickens and turkeys forage, play and lounge under certified free range conditions and love every minute of it. We stock Hazeledene's free range chicken from Bendigo and Pooginagoric Turkeys from Bordertown, SA.

Free Range Pork

Award winning Borrowdale free range pork, farmed near Meredith in Victoria. These pigs have never once seen a sow stall or farrowing crate and are compassionately raised under strict APIQ guidelines. Borrowdale pork can be distinguished by its very healthy fat cover which is indicative of a healthy life in the outdoors. This is high welfare farming at its best.

Sustainable Seafood

Quality, freshness, locality and sustainability are key when we buy our seafood, which is why, when buying from Cannings, you can be certain you're buying an environmentally sustainable product. We only sell seafood that is rated GREEN (better choice) by the Australian Marine Conservation Society's GoodFish guide. The level of scrutiny and care within the GoodFish app is exactly what the planet needs if we want future generations to enjoy seafood.

Just Like Organic

Just like organic, our carefully selected free range producers raise their animals free from added hormones and non-therapeutic antibiotics. We are all about high welfare husbandry and clean, natural farming practices but we are NOT organic. That's a good thing though, because we are more affordable.

Free Range Means

Free range means that for no period of time has the animal been confined to a cage, pen, stall, crate or feedlot. It means that they are free to express natural behaviour, in a natural environment. How could there be any other way?

Did You Know?

Did you know the majority of Australian beef is either grain supplemented or completely grain fed? This means time in a feedlot and the increased likelihood of prescribed growth hormones and antibiotics. This is not something that only happens in America. Feedlots are big business in Australia.

Free Range for the Planet!

Contrary to the beliefs of some, responsible and regenerative farming practices are actually beneficial to the environment. Well managed grazing animals are critical to the future of sustainable agriculture. Rotational grazing of livestock is integral to revitalising ecosystems as it enriches the soil with organic matter and thereby increases its carbon-carrying capacity. Meat from grazing animals is also the most nutrient dense and complete food available to humans and is fundamental to the health of our species. These are such interesting topics and we implore you to research further. This book is a great place to start.

Cannings Selection Criteria

After more than two decades in the retail meat industry, we’ve learned that it’s very important to leave no stone unturned. That’s why we make the effort to visit our producers’ farms and processing facilities. This scrutiny, this effort, this care, is what we can offer the world. That’s why we have created two, very important documents on which we base all of our procurement. The Cannings Selection Criteria (CSC) and the Cannings Supplier Declaration (CSD). The CSC is a series of specifications around product quality requirements and specifications. The CSD is a document which ensures that our suppliers standards around animal welfare and environmental management completely align with our values.

  • Free range, grass fed beef and lamb that has never been feedlotted
  • Free range chicken and pork, never been confined to cages, pens or stalls
  • Sustainable Australian seafood classified as “Better Choice” by the AMCS
  • No added growth promoting hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics
  • Suppliers certifications and standards have been provided to Cannings
  • Physical interventions and/or procedures disclosed to Cannings
  • Environmental management processes disclosed to Cannings
  • Animal stocking densities disclosed to Cannings
  • 100% alignment of values between Cannings and suppliers
50%

Farms Inspected

Percentage of our suppliers farms and
processing facilities inspected by Cannings

0%

Suppliers Committed

Percentage of our suppliers who have committed
to the Cannings Supplier Declaration

What We Don't Sell


  • The allocated living space for a ‘battery hen’ is smaller than one A4 sheet of paper (not even enough space to stretch her wings). The combination of lack of exercise and continual egg-laying, which depletes hens of calcium, leads to weakened bones. We only stock ‘true free range’ eggs from Bimbadeen Phillip Island.

    Non Free Range Chicken & Eggs

    slide 1
  • The sheer amount of calves being sent to slaughter is driven by the dairy industry. We stock How Now Dairy cream and full cream, unhomogenised milk. They maintain a small herd, don’t separate calves from mothers, and don’t send “bobby calves” (males) to the veal industry.

    Conventional Dairy Products

    slide 2
  • Over crowded, dusty feedlots bear no resemblance to a cow’s natural habitat. Grain finishing or feedlotting, changes the omega 6 and 3 ratio from the ideal of 3:1, to the unhealthy range of 24:1, which is bad news for your heart. Conversely, grass fed beef has the same healthy ratio of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as found in fish.

    Grain Fed Beef

    slide 3
  • Ducks are aquatic animals. They need fresh water so they can clean their feathers, nostrils and eyes. It’s a fundamental need - as is access to the outside, and the sun. There is such a huge difference in the quality of life for our free range ducks and the majority of Australia’s shed-raised ducks.

    Shed Raised Ducks

    slide 4
  • Our main concern with roo was the fact that female roos were shot regardless of whether they were carrying joeys or not. We only stock kangaroo that is harvested under strict guidelines which dictate that no females are shot. Macro Meats, our supplier of kangaroo, only take males.

    Female Kangaroo

    slide 5
  • Sow stalls, teeth clipping, concrete floors, tail docking and filthy, over crowded pens. Does this sound like a nice place to live your 20 week life? That sounds like prison. The confined, unstimulating, unnatural environment that factory farmed pigs must endure condemn them to a life-time of perpetual stress, boredom and depression.

    Non Free Range Pork

    slide 6
  • Veal is essentially baby cow, as young as 5 – 15 days old. Dairy cows are kept pregnant so they keep producing milk & all males born into commercial dairy go to the veal industry, whilst the females re-enter the dairy stream. We do not support this. We only sell grass-fed veal - from fully weaned cattle, aged between four to six months.

    Milk Fed Veal

    slide 7

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Do you home deliver?

YES! We deliver to suburbs all over Melbourne from Tuesday - Saturday. We offer free delivery for orders $99 and over, with next day delivery available for orders placed before 3pm. To check your eligibility for delivery simply pop one or more items into your cart and proceed to the second screen of checkout to view your options. 

Q. What is free range?

Free range means that for no period of time, have the animals been refused access to fully open air, and natural open pasture. The term also dictates certain stocking densitites which must not be breached. Free range is natural.

Q. Do you sell organic meat?

No! All of our produce is free range, hormone and antibiotic free, but not certified organic. Just because something is organic, doesn't guarantee the highest standard of animal welfare. Our priority is welfare, and clean, natural farming practices. Because we are NOT organic, we are much more affordable.

Q. Are your animals slaughtered humanely?

Whenever I am asked this, I feel it's important to first raise the question; is there such a thing as "humane slaughter"? I figure, that in a world where there's definitely such a thing as "inhumane slaughter", then the way animals are slaughtered in the four main abattoirs we receive meat from, must surely be a true definition of humane slaughter. These facilities are very well equipped and designed to minimise animal stress, while guaranteeing a fast, stress free and professional kill. In slaughter, the fact of the matter is; the animal must be stunned (rendered unconscious), and must be bled to death. I wish there was another way to put it. It is important to know, that at the four abattoirs we buy from, the animals never see their fellow animals get slaughtered before themselves. There are double-doors etc. which prevents this. There are occasionally rogue cases of animal cruelty in abattoirs. And we can only hope that the individuals who commit these crimes are punished accordingly and that the companies who employ them deplore the actions and constantly raise the standard of professionalism.

At Cannings, we believe that CCTV should be mandatory in all stock yards, cattle races, stunning boxes and kill floors, in every Australian abattoir, and that the footage be independently audited/reviewed. Please write to the following people and demand action: Brendan Tatham CEO of Primesafe [email protected] Jaclyn Symes Agriculture Minister [email protected]

Q. How exactly is each animal processed?

WARNING – this section contains graphic descriptions of animal slaughter

Beef:
The door opens, then the animal moves forward and enters the box. The animal does not see the stunning person above them. The stunning person then administers the stun via a captive bolt, which penetrates the skull as quick as a bullet. Once the animal drops (immediately), the side of the box opens up and the animal is hoisted up by the hind legs before its throat cut – draining of all blood (whilst fully unconscious).

Lamb:
As the lamb moves further into the race, the walls of the race become increasingly narrow, until the lamb cannot move laterally. They will just keep moving forward. Then a little flap opens up and the lamb will push it's head through the flap. The race holds the lamb in place while the stunning person applies an electric charged probe to the side of the lamb's head, which pierces the skin and stuns the lamb, rendering it unconscious. The lamb is then pulled through the doors, before having it's throat cut – draining of all blood (whilst fully unconscious).

Chicken:
Once our chickens are unloaded from the trucks and whilst still in their shipping crates they are calmed in the "dark room" (a temperature controlled room with a dark blue light where fall partially asleep). Then, they are placed on a conveyer belt (still in crates) which passes through a carbon dioxide chamber, with enough Co2 in the air to put the chicken to sleep with no stress whatsoever. After that, the chickens pass through another chamber, with a much higher concentration of Co2, which renders the chickens "permanently unconscious". It is then, the chickens are removed from their crates, hung upside down and bled out (whilst fully unconscious).

Pork:
Similar to the way the Hazeldene's chickens are rendered unconscious, pigs undergo carbon dioxide stunning. Three or four pigs enter the small room which is flushed with Co2 until they are unconscious. Then the pigs are removed from the Co2 room and hung upside down, before being bled out (whilst fully unconscious).

Q. How far must the animals travel pre-slaughter?

Beef: 10km – 300km. Cattle is transported from all over north western Tasmania to Smithton, Tasmania.
Lamb: 10km – 700km (seasonal). For most of the year, lambs are raised in Kyneton, processed in Kyneton.
Chicken: 0 km – Processed on-site
Pork: 400km. Darling Downs to Booyong.

Q. What do the animals eat?

Beef: 100% grass and grass silage
Lamb: 100% grass and gras silage
Chicken: 80% grain, 20% seeds and insects from foraging
Pork: 60% grain (wheat, soy, barley), 40% leafy green veggies
Eggs: 50% grain, 50% forage (seeds, insects and grubs).

Q. Do you use preservatives in the meat?

All of our unmarinated and marinated meats are preservative free. We have developed some fantastic marinades, and have now found a supplier who makes awesome spice mixes that are preservative and "number" free. Having said that, our sausages and burgers do have preservative 223, and our home made smallgoods (ham, bacon, smoked chicken, turkey etc) have a very small amount of sodium nitrate to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. EXCEPT for our Paleo range, where there is no use of preservatives, and as a result, are sold from our freezer section.

Q. Why does your mince discolour in the middle?

Mince that is bright red on the outside and grey in the middle is normal and healthy. If it's not discolouring in the middle, there is a preservative in the mince. If your mince is discolouring on the outside, it has spoiled.

Q. What goes into your sausages?

I'm not sure where the uncertainty or distrust that circles around sausage fillings come from, but in all my years in the meat industry, I have only ever seen good meat go into sausages, so that's what I put into them today. Most of our sausages are made from boneless shoulder and belly meat. We also put a small amount of what we call "trim" in our snags. Trim is basically the small pieces of meat and fat that are cut off your favourite pieces, like rumps, porterhouse, chuck etc, in order for us to sell them. We trim these larger cuts to perfection, then the small pieces go into the sausages. It's good meat, but they don't represent a desired cut/portion. Once it's minced, it's awesome. A good sausage really comes down to how much fat it has, and we aim for 80% lean meat, 20% fat.

Q. Why are some chicken fillets so BIG?

Firstly, it's important to know that there are no hormones, steroids or artificial growth promoters in our free range chickens. Hazeldene's chicken feed is specifically formulated to enhance muscle yield. Secondly, our free range producer does not size-grade the chicken breasts and thighs. So we get a mix of big ones and small ones. "Ross", the particular breed of chicken that Hazeldene's produce, grow up to about 4kg in size by about 8 weeks of life. The difference in getting a 200gm breast fillet and a 400gm breast fillet is quite literally 10 days of growth.

Q. Do you donate to charity?

We support a handful of local schools and organisations, and a few of Australia's best animal welfare protection organisations. If your local organisation is in need of fundraising, please complete the Donations and Sponsorship form on our Contact Us page.

Q. Are there any employment opportunities at CANNINGS?

We are always searching for standout employees. Please visit our Employment Opportunities page, and upload your CV.

Q. Do you stock any farmed fish?

Our Ora King Salmon and Spring Creek Barramundi are farmed because Cannings strives to source its seafood from only the most sustainability-minded suppliers in Australia and New Zealand. It's no secret that seafood is a dwindling resource so we only choose species and production methods approved by the Australian Marine Conservation Society's Sustainability Guide. We also think that Spring Creek and Ora King are what every fish farm should strive to be like. Read more here: https://canningsfreerangebutchers.com.au/pages/sustainable-seafood