In 1877 when Queenslanders William Collins, William Forrest, and Sir Thomas McIlwraith were joined by Englishmen John Warner and Sir William Ingram to form The North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCo), little did they know they were laying the foundation for more than 145 years of sustainable beef farming.
Our five founders were the original lessees of the great Alexandria Downs Station in the Northern Territory – now known simply as ‘Alexandria’, it continues its flagship role within NAPCo’s operation.
The new company survived the financial and drought-induced crisis of the 1890s mainly due to its Burdekin properties which were less drought-affected and close to abattoirs.
The first two decades of the 20th Century saw more drought, a world war and changes in the ownership structure.
In 1937, Francis Foster invested heavily in NAPCo taking an interest which grew through his lifetime bringing with it exceptional pastoral skills and long-term vision, which laid the basis for its composite breeding program and pioneering contributions to land care, conservation and disease minimisation.
THE QUEENSLAND BUSINESS LEADERS HALL OF FAME
NAPCo’s longevity and operational success has been partly due to its integration of multiple properties into a resilient chain for breeding, fattening and drought-proofing, complemented by the Wainui feedlot on the Darling Downs.
NAPCo has experienced sustained growth since the 1980s. A defining characteristic of the company’s success has been a family approach to the business under a succession of inspirational leaders including Foster family members; Douglas Fraser, Michael Crouch and more recently Christopher Lyndon and Nigel Alexander.
In May 2016, the Queensland Government acquired an 79% interest in NAPCo with the Foster family owning the remaining share ensuring that local control of this important national business continues.
Today, NAPCo has moved from being a cattle-only company to become one of Australia’s biggest producers of prime-quality branded beef.
The survival and development of NAPCo over more than 145 years is a tribute to the people involved; in particular the character, ability, foresight and extraordinary dedication of those who have contributed both on and off the properties.
NAPCo began in 1877 when its original partners took up leases over a vast area of the Barkly Tableland in the Northern Territory, with Queensland properties added over time as the company grew and developed. Family-based ownership remained predominant within NAPCo until 2016 when QIC (Queensland Investment Corporation) became the majority investor.
This thoroughly researched and attractively illustrated history of the company is a hard-cover book of 620 pages. It is a fascinating account of the people who created the company, of their descendants and others who have shared in its ownership, and of all those who have served it so well. It is a story of properties and cattle, and the outback itself, and provides an invaluable case study in the development of the northern Australian cattle industry.
The North Australian Pastoral Company is a major player in Australia’s cattle industry managing a herd of 200,000 cattle, across six million hectares of land across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Our cattle are born and raised on wide open pastures and are the product of generations of farmers who have spent their lives overseeing the entire operation from breeding to fattening, with the health and wellbeing of our cattle always priority.
For them, raising cattle is not a job; it’s a way of life.
We’ve spent more than 145 years crafting the finest quality beef for you to enjoy.
Click on the hotspots for information on our stations.
Our cattle spend their whole of life in our care, ensuring complete traceability from birth to processing. They’re bred with a focus on temperament, physical attributes and quality meat-eating characteristics. Our cattle are made to feel comfortable, happy and stress free throughout their life,
raised on the natural, fertile grasslands of northern Australia, and often live with the same herd of animals throughout their whole life.
Complete control of our supply chain not only ensures full traceability but also ensures the highest standards of care are met and consistency of quality is achieved. We’ve spent more than 145 years ethically raising our cattle, to craft the finest quality beef for you to enjoy.
UNIQUE AND RESILIENT BREED
With a herd of approximately 200,000 head of cattle and brandings in excess of 60,000 calves each year, NAPCo cattle are recognised for their quality and quietness.
In the 1980’s we established a world-renowned cattle breeding program. The NAPCo composite breeding program is recognised by leading geneticists as one of the premier breeding programs in the world and a key component in our sustainable competitive advantage.