By Tom Collins
TWEED — The Enright Cattle Company has started selling leather products made from the hides of their own cattle in an effort to get as much value from the cow as possible.
A couple of years ago, the Simmental beef farmers at Tweed, north of Belleville, were trying to figure out how to add more value from the animal. They realized they weren’t getting anything from the hide and started looking into making leather products.
It took two years from conception to bring the first products to market as they wanted to make sure the final product was high quality. The farm now sells 11 leather products, ranging in price from $79 for a compact zip wallet to a $599 carrying bag.
“It takes a lot of work and time and investment into getting exactly what you want,” said Kara Enright, saying it’s too early to know how much more value the leather products are adding to an animal. “I was getting to the point where I was fairly fed up with the whole process. I was like, we’re either going to launch this spring or we’re done. It was taking a lot of my time without any real progress or payback.”
As the Enrights might be the only beef farm in Ontario creating their own leather, the demand for the product was immediate. Within a couple of days of the April 20 launch, the inventory for bags had sold out and there were back orders for an additional 20.
The leather pieces are available online at www.enrightcattlecompany.com and there are plans to market them to stores in Toronto and Ottawa.