Our Story2019-08-29T08:51:56+00:00

Our Story

It’s All in the Family

We’re a family company. We think and operate that way. Chris Thomas and his son Darren Thomas, saw the value of making business personal and keeping the inner workings close way back in the beginning and it remains so today.

In 1988 – Greg Bourke – then a waiter, now our chairman – who was busy traversing the Golden State, evangelizing to restaurants and chefs alike the delectable joys of fresh Australian lamb. And things took off from there. Fresh Australian lamb can be persuasive that way.

In the same year (1988), Chris Thomas in the land down under established Thomas Foods International, Australia’s largest 100% family-owned meat processor today. Starting out as a grass roots rancher and continuing to own their own livestock farms and ranches, Chris and his son Darren Thomas know the importance of ensuring quality from the farm right to our customers’ plates. 

With quality and food safety being the highest priority at every step along the supply chain, both Greg Bourke and the Thomas family recognized the importance to join forces in 2009 here in the USA.

Today, Thomas Foods International USA is distributing more than 100 million pounds of quality meat products year round. That’s a whole lot of deliciousness going on to a whole lot of places.

But don’t let those numbers fool you. It’s still all about family. We understand the changing demands, whims and tastes of consumer because we’re consumers. We know how important the time spent gathered around the table, sharing stories and recipes and the odd joke or tow is. And quality time like that deserves quality meat to match.

What We’re About

We’re about the finest pasturelands and farmers in the world

from Australia to Uruguay to the American Midwest. And the animals that graze them. Believing, as we do, that good feeds good. That the best pasturelands, the best farmers, the best raising practices make for the best quality meats. Not all meats are created equal. Some, like Thomas’s, are simply created better. From the ground up.


We’re about quality

Not compromise. We’re unapologetically stubborn. We don’t seek out meats from around the globe because we like to travel. (Although we do like to travel.) We do it because we refuse to compromise on quality. So you don’t have to either.


We’re about innovation

We always have been. We experiment. New ideas, new tastes, new products for the consumer, the retailer and the foodservice provider. No idea is a bad idea. We cultivate an environment for our employees to think outside the box and learn from projects that help us grow and improve, so we consistently deliver you the kind of unique meat products that your consumers are looking for. At Thomas Foods, our foundation is the best meat in the world. There’s really no end to the places we can go from there.

Who We Are

We’re grassroots livestock people. Literally and figuratively.

Co-founders Chris and Darren Thomas still work on and own farms. Believing that to really provide the highest-quality product, they should be close to it. Close to the earth and the animals it nourishes. The Thomas and Bourke families were also one of the first suppliers of high-quality chilled grass-fed beef to a national retailer here in the U.S. ensuring that humanely and sustainably raised grass-fed beef was accessible to all, not just a select few.

We do things our own way. We buck convention. The way we see it, convention is the very definition of “good enough.” But it has never quite been good enough for Thomas Foods.

We’re stubborn. We believe in doing things the right way. No workarounds. For us, high quality is a baseline. It’s the foundation. We keep our standards high and our tolerance for BS low. So our consumers can do the same.

We’re restless. We can’t help it. It’s just our nature as individuals and as a company. We innovate. We tinker. We can’t leave well enough alone. You know that saying, “Don’t sacrifice the good in service of the great”? No? Neither do we.

So, what does that all mean? What’s it all led to? Well, as a company, Thomas Foods International is a family-owned meat-processing company that operates globally with annual revenues just north of $2 billion.

Turns out a stubborn insistence on putting quality first is a popular proposition in the marketplace.

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Trust In The Process

We pride ourselves on having hands-on involvement every step of the way literally from the farm to the table. And since quality is so important to us, we figured, why not control the process ourselves? And the best way to do that is to keep it in the family and do the work together.

We work with trusted farmers and suppliers all around the world who produce quality meats and maintain the highest standards that are the fabric of our business. We own many farms all across Australia, where we can always be assured that the care and quality that goes into everything is top notch and beyond reproach.

From those farms, our meats go to our own processing facilities where we personally  load the shipping containers ourselves.  Those containers are then sealed by an Australian government official and sent off across the ocean where they are eagerly   received by our logistics and refrigeration company, Lakeside Refrigerated Services, in New Jersey and then distributed to customers nationwide.

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Sustainable Practices

We were raised on the farm. Raised to believe that the earth provides for all of us and therefore, be well tended to. So, environmental sustainability has always been at the core of what we do. No one ever had to convince us of its importance.

We have invested into implementing solar energy at our Swedesboro NJ facility, which will reduce Lakeside’s energy & electric use by 25% which equals to 2,700,000 kWh, which is enough to power 303 residential homes in New Jersey. Our recycling efforts with our trusted corrugated board supplier, has also seen 37,797 trees saved and 16,387,000 of gallons of water saved in 2017.

In our Australian operations, we’ve implemented covered anaerobic lagoons to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from waste treatments. And we’ve been an active participant in Australia’s full-scale life cycle analysis of the environmental impact of beef and lamb production from the farm to delivery in the U.S.

Animals Matter

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Yes, we’re in the business of raising animals for food but we have huge respect for our animals and we’re committed to treating them with compassion and care throughout their lives by making sure they are humanely raised in an environment that is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

And we seek out other farmers who think like we do. It’s important to us that we source our meats from farmers who believe in the same ethical standards and who work to ensure their animals live as nature intended, outside on the best pasturelands with room to roam, get to have socialization with their herds and access to good food and water.

Because, it all boils down to a life well lived and that affects how our animals thrive, how we feel about what we do and the end product we deliver to you.

Grass Fed Beef

Our grass fed and grass finished cattle are raised on open green pastures where they freely roam and graze on a grass fed diet for their whole lives. Never confined to a feedlot, our grass fed beef is all natural, with no artificial ingredients, minimally processed and halal certified.

Organic Beef

Our cattle are raised on open green pastures where they freely roam and graze on a grass fed diet for their whole lives. Our cattle are never administered added growth hormones and antibiotics. Our organic beef is all natural, with no artificial ingredients, minimally processed and Halal certified.

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Angus Pure Beef

A pure product of its pure environment, our exclusively Australian grass fed beef program is one-of-a-kind. Our humanely raised black angus cattle are raised on open Australian grass pastures, never confined to a feedlot and never administered growth hormones or antibiotics. Graded for eating quality as well, you can be assured not only will you feel good about purchasing our Angus Pure beef, you will also enjoy eating it as well…..every time.

Australian Wagyu Beef

The majority of our Wagyu beef comes from Stanbroke, where they are wholly focused on supplying the finest quality beef to their customers. Diamantina, Australia’s premium Wagyu beef comes from the Diamantina Shire in western Queensland, and is famous for producing some of Australia’s finest cattle. Stanbroke selects the best breeds, and ensures they feed on a grain rich diet – which produces decadently marbled beef and a uniquely superior taste experience.

Certified Angus Beef

Raised on Certified Angus Beef farms these cattle spend the majority of their lives on pasture grazing on grass and forage then grain finished for 4-6 months. Their grain diet consists of corn, wheat and milo, as well as high energy grains important to support cattle growth and to produce high quality beef.

Free Range Lamb

Our pasture raised lambs roam free on grass pastures, never been administered growth hormones and are never confined to a feedlot. All natural, minimally produced and free of artificial additives, our high quality lamb products are mild in flavor and consistent year round

Organic Lamb

Our organic lamb is humanely raised on Australian ranches and family farms certified USDA organic. Raised without the use of antibiotics and added hormones, our organic lambs roam free on native pastures that have not been sprayed with artificial chemicals.

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Free Range Goat

As a leading supplier of Australian goat meat, our quality goat meat products are available year round either foodservice packed or retail frozen case ready. Our goats roam free on native rangelands and pastures and are certified halal.

Royal Dutch Veal

Our Royal Dutch Veal from the Netherlands is a premium milk fed veal program with a tradition that goes back 100 years. Our calves are humanely raised in groups of 5 to 6 and have never tethered or shackled. Fed a wholesome milk diet, our calves have also never been administered growth hormones and our unique production system guarantees individual lifetime traceability from farm to each meat package. For more information, please visit www.royaldutchveal.com/.