Bendele Farm, located near Gympie in South East Queensland (one and a half hours from the Sunshine Coast), is owned and operated by Sarah and Fred Sterns.
Realising the importance of organic farming practices, they were quick to prioritise the environment, food supply, shelter, water and even noise levels for growing happy and healthy poultry. In order to produce a truly unique meat bird, they knew that the combination of all these elements had to be carefully balanced.
Bendele Farm is regarded as the leading supplier of organic poultry to the local market. It is certified organic with ACO as well as Safefood QLD and it maintains an extremely high standard of operation in order to produce higher-welfare flavourful poultry.
Bendele Farm was originally established in 1999 as a duck farm. Sarah and Fred took over the farm in 2004 after having had careers in agriculture education and on cattle stations. They have been recognised several times in national food rankings coming in as state finalists in the Delicious Food awards for their ducks. As well as natural vegetation the flock is fed predominantly organically accredited wheat or sorghum.
Fluctuations in environmental conditions keep the Bendele Farm team busy throughout the year, dealing with extreme heats in summer and colds in winter. They work hard to keep the stock as comfortable as they can all year round. However, these extremes impact upon the flock numbers, sizes and weights during various times of the year.
The flocks have 24/7 access to pasture where they can frolick and scratch in the dust. Their stocking densities are well under the organic standards, with each bird having twice as much space as the minimum organic certification standard. All the sheds have fresh non-treated sawdust as litter with ample access to food and water. The farm is protected by a dingo-proof fence which with local predators a real threat to the flock.
Sarah and Fred have been working with Hagen’s Organics since around the mid-2000's. One of the ways they encourage people to enjoy their birds is butterflied out and marinated and baked or cooked on the BBQ.