Cash cow supplies cut

AT about $35 per kilogram, White Rocks Veal is among the most expensive meats to buy in Perth.

Be that as it may, when the discerning carnivore recently found out his weekly indulgence in 200 grams of the delight was not possible, he started asking questions of his local butcher.

Very pointed questions they were, too:“ Do you have any veal?” and “How come?” (The latter sounds more polite than “Why not?” when you are talking to bloke who wields a meat cleaver professionally).

It turned out, so said the man behind the counter, that the farmer had broken his leg and there would be no White Rocks Veal until this week.

A trip to two other butchers confirmed these sad circum-stances, and so we made do with some tenderised round steak – not exactly the next rung down on the ladder compared with one’s favoured fare.

Was it possible that such a minor matter as a broken bone (no, I’ve never had one) could disrupt the citywide supply of such a crucial commodity?

According to David Partridge of WS Partridge and Sons, which produces the veal, yes.

But it wasn’t him, the farmer, who suffered, it was Tony the truck driver; and it wasn’t Tony’s leg, but his foot that was broken.

In fact, the break was a com-pound fracture, one toe was bent right back, and it was all very unpleasant to look at.

Mr Partridge explained that Tony the truckie’s injury meant it was not possible for any calves to be transported for slaughtering, and in the circumstances this was a minor consideration anyway.

Vince Gareffa, the proprietor of Mondo di Carne, supported Mr Partridge’s decision and told him not to worry – Perth’s connoisseurs would just have to wait: sometimes the needs of the many must give way to the needs of the few.

That was on Friday 22 February. Somebody else drove the transport truck last week, and we can all get back to making sure we don’t splash too much olive oil into the frying pan like we did last time.

Mr Partridge, meanwhile, is working hard to meet the market’s demand for his produce and double his veal production in the next year or so.

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