The Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) has given its support to the rollout of objective carcase measurement across Australia’s sheepmeat sector, noting the multiple benefits for producers and the industry.
Following consideration of the proposal put forward by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) for the voluntary installation of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology in AUSMEAT registered processing plants, the SCA Board endorsed the plan on the basis that the development and adoption of sheepmeat eating quality measurements are fast-tracked and incorporated into stage two of the proposal.
SCA CEO Kat Giles said the proposal to roll out DEXA technology, and upon development, eating quality (EQ) measurement, provided many benefits for the Australian sheepmeat industry and aligned with the goals outlined in the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (SISP2020).
“The SISP2020 outlines the need to develop objective carcase measurement technologies and to facilitate the improvement of information flows across the value chain – and MLA’s proposal delivers this,” Dr Giles said.
“Objective carcase measurement coupled with EQ measurement has the potential to increase saleable meat yield and maintain or improve eating quality to underpin improvements in quality and compliance across the entire sheepmeat value chain.”
“The ability to enable scientific measurement of saleable meat yield and in the future, eating quality, will provide greater feedback of data across the sheepmeat value chain, including giving producers more objective data that will allow for improvements in productivity on-farm.”
Dr Giles said SCA had identified additional benefits for the industry from MLA’s proposal, including using objective measurement to guarantee the product quality of MSA Lamb and the development of an Australian “yearling” product.
“Objective measurement in the long term could also allow industry to move to a system not solely focused on dentition,” Dr Giles said.
SCA will continue to work with MLA and stakeholders along the supply chain to consider the details and logistics for implementation of the DEXA technology. This will include determining a funding model that ensures the technology is available to all lamb and sheep AUSMEAT processing facilities who want to adopt the technology.
Dr Giles said the SCA Board will have final sign off on any funding model before any rollout proceeds.
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