A proud family-owned business
Oakdale Meat Co. is a family-owned-and-operated business whose history spans four generations of the Dawson family. More than 100 years ago, James ‘Jimmy’ Dawson established a wholesale butchery at the Oakleigh Abattoir.
His son, Jack (better known as Jock), was born in 1923. Growing up in the lean years of the Great Depression, Jack and his brother, Lincoln, helped to deliver meat in a horse and cart before attending school.
After serving in the Royal Australian Navy during the Second World War, Jock returned to the industry as a cattle buyer and slaughterman. In 1947, he had a boning room in at Oakleigh abattoir where he began exporting meat to the USA and other countries.
In the following years, Jack Dawson Exports Pty Ltd become one of the country’s primary beef exporters.
In 1964, the company relocated to an export accredited boning room and butcher shop (named Oakdale Meat Co.) at Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. Jock’s son, John Dawson, joined the family business as a teenager in 1969 where he learned the meat industry from the ground up.
Following the downturn of the global beef market in the 1970s, the export arm of the business was wound down and the boning room and butcher shop were relocated to Dandenong in the late 1980s.
Under John’s leadership, Oakdale Meat Co. has grown to become one of Australia largest domestic-licenced meat processors, through his devotion to the industry and long-lasting relationships with the likes of M C Herd, McDonalds, Patties Pies, PFD Food Services, Coles Group and DON Smallgoods and many others.
Under John’s guidance Oakdale has seen an upgrade to the facility to reach Tier 2 Export for beef processing, extended the business into value-adding, adoption of internationally recognised quality assurance programs and the development of the company’s integrated supply chain.
Johns’ legacy is being carried on with the third generation of leadership at Oakdale Meat Co. with Company Director’s Brooke Dawson, John’s daughter CEO, and Warrick Scanlan, John’s Son in law General Manager of Commercial.