The 337,000-sq.-ft. One World Beef plant began operations Nov. 28, 2016.

Operations begin

The plant finally began operations Nov. 28 last year. Bill Brandt was obviously proud that his son had managed to resurrect his and others’ dreams and metaphorically raised the phoenix from the ashes of the two previous failures.

The 337,000-sq.-ft. plant was originally designed to process 1,600 cattle per day in a single shift. National expanded this to 2,300 head per day. One World Beef has started by harvesting 700 head per week. Slaughter is on Thursdays and Fridays to give the Brandt Beef carcasses a 72-hour chill. Fabrication is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A unique aspect of the plant is that it operates as a toll processor, slaughtering and fabricating all types of cattle for producers for a fee. It will process any kind of cattle as long as they are from reputable suppliers, Brandt says. The plant is also certified to process Certified Angus Beef.

With its current pace of operations, One World’s attention to detail over every one of the 50-plus cuts it produces is unsurprising but still exceptional. Many of its workers were already experienced butchers and are thriving under Brandt’s charismatic leadership and focus on excellence.

“One World Beef is a craft processor,” Brandt says. “We spent weeks prior to our start date training an already expert team on safety, food safety and processes, as well as orienting them to the culture of the company. The craft beef we are producing is a reflection of the character of the team, the beef itself and the respect we have for the animals we are sacrificing. As a transparent toll processor, the company is dedicated to striving for perfection in everything we commit to doing for our customers.”

One World does something else not many other beef processors do. It spent a month cross-training workers in its slaughter and fabrication departments. This means it regularly moves workers in key positions on the slaughter floor to non-key positions in the fabrication department and vice versa, to offer them variety and make them aware of the importance of every job in the plant.

Brandt compares producing high quality beef with the craft of wine-making. “We are making the equivalent of an estate wine. You start by procuring the finest raw material you can and then make sure you handle it just right at every stage of the process after that.”

That’s one reason why the plant chills its Brandt Beef carcasses for 72 hours instead of the typical 48 hours. It also dry hangs these carcasses in its coolers. But the key is that quality starts in the feedlot, as a fine wine starts in the vineyard. The Brandt Beef cattle are calf-fed Holstein steers that go on feed at an average 325 lbs. They are fed what Brandt calls an expensive ration of Imperial Valley alfalfa hay and steam-flaked corn. They are on feed an average 400 days and are only brought to the plant when they are the right weight, an average of 1,400 lbs. The result is that the Brandt Beef cattle grade 28 percent Prime, the rest Choice.

“There are 20 to 30 different things we do in the plant to enhance the quality of the beef, from the dry hanging to the packaging,” Brandt says. “I’m a temperature freak so we control that at every stage. We also closely monitor the pH levels in the meat.”