FROM SPRING 2022 ISSUE OF 5TH & MAIN MAGAZINE, A LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY PUBLICATION:
SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND HEADS of cattle roam the pastures and drink from the creeks all over the state of Louisiana. But fewer than 3% are actually harvested for beef within our borders. Cattlemen, combat veterans and entrepreneurs David Billings and Chip Perrin are on a mission to change that. This duo from south Louisiana launched Coastal Plains Meat Company in 2021 to revolutionize the Louisiana beef industry and create opportunities for other local cattlemen to keep it local.
“Our goal is to alleviate the supply chain issues we are seeing across the country and keep livestock from being shipped out of state to be processed,” says Billings, co-founder and CEO. “We are passionate about Louisiana, and we are passionate about keeping talent in the state. We’ve been telling our story all over Louisiana, and others are becoming passionate too.”
Billings and Perrin started with purchasing a 20,000-square-foot protein manufacturing facility in Eunice and modernizing it with state-of-the-art technology and a new workﬂow system. From a harvesting perspective, this is the largest beef pack-ing and processing facility in Louisiana. They’ve developed the ‘Louisiana Beef’ brand, sourcing high-quality cattle in the state while launching two new product lines in the program: Gold Standard (choice beef equivalent) and Black Label Premium (prime beef equivalent). They are working through distributors, and opening all opportunities to provide local, sustainable and high-quality beef to Louisiana consumers across the state. And they are just getting started.
“This is only our first facility,” says Billings. “Our goal is to have four harvesting facilities across the state at the end of five years. There is a great excitement about what we are doing because we are taking action. Our mission is to continue to build this industry from the inside out, with the assistance of veterans in the workforce and partner universities to further those agriculture educational opportunities.”
In the meantime, Coastal Plains is in negotiations with one of the foremost restauranteurs in the state to supply Louisiana Beef to all his restaurants. Although the deal is still hush-hush, it’s safe to say that this announcement will ignite the Louisiana Beef movement even further. And while more quiet negotiations are underway to supply true Louisiana Beef to other entities, it is Louisiana’s community of consumers who have rallied loudly behind the movement and are supporting the efforts of Billings and Perrin.
“We have great ambition, but we are getting huge support that’s fueling the fire,” says Billings. “It’s really exciting because people are understanding our mission and sup-porting us, and we continue to stand behind our core values of quality, boldness, safety, accountability and integrity. Because after all, integrity is the only thing we have at the end of the day.”
Link to article here: https://labi.org/newsroom/5th-main/