RED meat industry peak councils representing grass-fed cattle and sheep producers, lotfeeders and processors will establish an objective carcase measurement adoption and commercialisation taskforce to assist in managing the various aspects of OCM uptake.
The taskforce will deal initially with DEXA, and then subsequent OCM solutions as they emerge, including those covering eating quality criteria.
Following meetings in Sydney on Friday involving MLA, peak councils and other stakeholders, peak councils including Cattle and Sheepmeat Councils of Australia, the Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Australian Meat Industry Council have given their support to the introduction of objective measurement across industry, including the adoption of DEXA technology, to provide a single scientific measurement of lean meat yield.
The endorsement followed the first ‘all industry’ briefing on Friday which included a progress report on the roll-out of DEXA technology, organised by MLA for processors and industry representatives. While described on social media by AMIC’s Patrick Hutchinson as an ‘excellent meeting’, Beef Central understands that the morning session involving a range of stakeholders got quite tense at times, while an afternoon session involving peak councils only was more convivial.
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The peak industry councils and individual processors endorsed further work on MLA’s proposal to roll-out DEXA in all AusMeat registered processing plants on a voluntary basis, including installation requirements within individual facilities. MLA was also directed to go away and explore a range of alternative models to fund the process.
This work will allow peak industry councils and individual processors to consider the most appropriate funding solutions to deliver an industry-wide roll-out, likely to include combinations of levy funds from producers and processors, funds from individual processors, and the potential for matching Australian Government research dollars.
The new objective carcase measurement adoption & commercialisation taskforce will be chaired by respected industry expert Gary Burridge, a former AMIC chairman and CEO of Northern Cooperative Meat Co in NSW. The taskforce will also include a representative from each peak industry council, other processors including JBS and Teys, a representative from MLA and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation and meat scientist Dr Graham Gardner from Murdoch University.
“This collaborative approach to deliver OCM systems, including DEXA, is consistent with recent analyses of the technology, including a report from financial services firm EY commissioned on behalf of AMPC,” a joint peak council statement issued this morning said.
The adoption of OCM systems is also a key objective within the Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP 2020) which notes its potential to transform the red meat industry by improving efficiency.
The taskforce will hold its first meeting next month.