Lamb Processing

MLA pursues DEXA roll-out with $10 million red meat processor project

Terry Sim, May 22, 2017

DEXA images of lamb carcases.

MEAT & Livestock Australia is going ahead with its campaign to install objective measurement systems across the red meat processing sector, despite an industry review of the initiative.

MLA today said it will invest up to $10 million to co-fund the installation of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry or DEXA objective measurement systems in sheep meat and beef red meat processing plants following multiple requests to accelerate the adoption of the technology.

In November last year, MLA announced Project 150, a plan to pursue a $150 million industry-wide installation of Objective Carcase Measurement (OCM) technology, underpinned by DEXA to all AUS-MEAT accredited plants by 2020.

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The Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) has given its support to the rollout of objective carcase measurement across Australia’s sheep meat sector, but the Australian Meat Processor Corporation commissioned an independent review into Project 150, to evaluate all strategic, technical, financial, commercial, operational, governance, and implementation aspects.

The AMPC and the Australian Meat Industry Council appointing EY to undertake the review, a second issues paper has been published and the final EY report is expected to be published later this month.

Under the $10 co-funding project announced today, MLA will work with willing partners to develop a single scientific measurement of lean meat yield – and systems to collect and use data across supply chains for future research and development in genetics, animal health and husbandry, processing automation and other productivity improvements on and off farm.

MLA managing director Richard Norton

MLA managing director Richard Norton said the DEXA installations would be funded via matching contributions from participating processors and MLA Donor Company (MDC).

Mr Norton said MLA had already received project submissions from Gundagai Meat Processors, Frewstal Pty Ltd, Wagstaff Cranbourne Pty Ltd and Teys Australia, but also invited expressions of interest from other beef and sheep meat processors.

“This project is an important part of MLA’s investment in the research and development of objective measurement systems that our red meat and livestock industry can use to make precise assessments and better commercial decisions.

“It will enable supply chains and the businesses within them to drive new efficiencies, generate more value and better meet market demands, which ultimately improves our industry’s international competitiveness,” Mr Norton said.

He said MLA was still working with the industry’s peak councils on its proposal to install stage one of the DEXA technology into all those AUS-MEAT registered slaughter facilities in Australia who wanted it.

“This $10 million project that we’ve announced today is funded through the MDC and simply allows MLA and those companies who want to get on with implementing DEXA to do so.

“While the DEXA technology is ready for commercial application, its adoption does herald a transformation in the way our industry has done business for many decades and it’s not surprising that industry representatives are carefully considering the options,” Mr Norton said.

“If the industry’s peak councils and processors do decide to accelerate the adoption of objective carcase measurement across the industry through an investment of producer levies, we can do so.”

JBS Australia already has DEXA systems working on lamb processing in its Bordertown plant and on beef at its Dinmore abattoir. At Teys’ Rockhampton plant DEXA is being installed for beef processing and some Single Energy X-ray Absorptiometry or SEXA systems have been installed for lamb at the Australian Lamb Company’s Sunshine and Colac plants.

Processors wishing to submit an expression of interest for co-funding the installation of a DEXA system should contact [email protected]

Click here for more information on DEXA technology.

Source: MLA.


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