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Redefining lamb is first step and will lead to greater carcase feedback

by Sheep Central, 04 August 2017

Sheepmeat Council of Australia CEO Dr Kat Giles

REDEFINING Australian lamb is the first step in a comprehensive review of the meat and livestock specific language for sheep and lamb, according to the Sheepmeat Council of Australia.

The SCA has said it is driving the review and it will provide the basis for greater feedback to producers.

SCA chief executive officer Kat Giles said over the past two years, the council had been laying the foundation to achieve the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan (SISP) 2020 and Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) 2020 vision of optimising product quality and cost efficiency through the provision of greater feedback from the value chain to producers.

“Under the strategic direction of SCA, the sheep meat industry’s service providers have made outstanding headway in delivering enhanced feedback to producers

“The development of Livestock Data Link, the myMLA Single Sign-On portal, and the proposed investments in objective carcase measurement all contribute to ensuring long-term business profitability through providing increased information for on-farm decision making,” Dr Giles said.

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“To maximise the return on current and future investment into producer feedback mechanisms, industry is now at a point where developments in eating quality research needs to be reflected in meat and livestock specification language.’’ she said.

A joint industry meeting of SCA and the Australian Meat Industry Council will be held on August 8 in Dubbo New South Wales.

Dr Giles said both councils have committed to working collaboratively to ensure industry language meets the future needs of industry.

“Next week the SCA board will meet with AMIC sheep processing members to discuss the specification language required to enable industry to enhance animal health, carcase measurement, and grid compliance feedback channels to producers.

“The first component of livestock specification language that has been tabled for discussion by both councils is the current definition for lamb,” Dr Giles said.

“As part of SCA’s wider review of meat and livestock specification language, SCA has commissioned Holmes Sackett to review the current definition of lamb and the potential implications of harmonising with the New Zealand definition of a sheep less than 12 months of age or which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear or an extended definition of two teeth not in wear which has previously been raised as an option in the 2008 Meat Marketing Senate inquiry.”

“Initial findings from Holmes Sackett’s report have identified a substantial degree of risk to industry from moving to a definition beyond what is currently used in New Zealand, this means that if a change did occur it would be unlikely to be to two teeth not in wear,” she said.

“The SCA board and AMIC are set to consider the final draft report next week, after which the SCA board will decide whether to rule out any further investigation of a ‘two teeth not in wear’ definition.”

“Dependent upon the feedback and direction provided by the SCA Board on the draft report, I expect a finalised report to be delivered in next few months, for consideration by producers through the SCA members.

“This opportunity to modernise industry’s specification language to reflect the latest eating quality research in conjunction with increased producer feedback, will provide the foundation for the ongoing development of the sheep meat industry well beyond 2030.” Dr Giles said.

Source: Sheepmeat Council of Australia.

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