Sheep CRC leaves lamb and beef legacy with supply chain group

Sheep Central, October 17, 2018

NSCG members, from left, Dave Bevis, Coles; Dave Pethick, Murdoch University; Mark Inglis, JBS Australia; Bruce Hancock, PIRSA; Graham Gardner, Murdoch University; Richard Apps, and Christian Ruberg, MLA.

A LEGACY of meat processing innovation to benefit lamb and beef producers has been left by the Sheep CRC in the National Supply Chain Group, NSCG members said today.

The red meat industry’s National Supply Chain Group is this week meeting in the Beef Capital of Rockhampton, Qld, as the guest of Teys Australia, after transitioning from its status as the Lamb Supply Chain Group.

The LSCG was formed in 2007 by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation, or Sheep CRC, in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia, and the Australian Meat Processors Corporation.

The Sheep CRC said the Lamb Supply Chain Group was responsible for delivering major innovations to industry. These included the implementation of Meat Standards Australia systems across five major supply chains; development of a Lean Meat Yield Technical Guide and the Lamb Value Calculator. The CRC also established 20 national demonstration sites showcasing elite sheep genotypes and assisting in the development of ASBVs for meat eating quality traits; and enhanced feedback to producers using tools such as MLA’s Livestock Data Link.

Sheep CRC meat program leader Professor Dave Pethick said the LSCG was established to remove blockages in the information flow between producers, processors, retailers, researchers, governments and consumers, and it succeeded in achieving this by building strong partnerships along the value chain and embedding R&D with end users.

“The initial breakthrough which really drove the long-term success was the expansion of the MLA-initiated ‘innovation managers’ – individuals embedded within companies to manage R&D adoption and act as conduit for collaboration.

“The Sheep CRC co-funded such positions with lamb processors including JBS, Thomas Foods, the Australian Lamb Company, Gundagai Meat Processors, and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation (AMPC) as well as established close working relationships with WAMMCO, Fletchers, Frews, VV Walsh and Australia’s major retailers,” he said.

“As a result, by June 2019, it is expected that the LSCG will have facilitated lean meat yield measurement and MSA-Mark 2 grading of 4 million lambs per annum.

“This is a magnificent achievement in adding value to the industry,” Professor Pethick said.

National Supply Chain Group co-ordinator Bruce Hancock, from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA, said this week’s meeting would be attended by 20 group members. These included managers, scientists, co-ordinators and extension officers from varying institutions across Australia, 10 supply chain guests and representatives of the Commonwealth-funded Advanced Livestock Measurement Technologies (ALMTech) Group.

“While the new group incorporates beef supply chains and organisations, its focus remains the same: research, development and adoption of meat science, engaging with supply chains and facilitating enhanced producer feedback to increase productivity and profitability,” Mr Hancock said.

As part of the CRC legacy strategy, the Supply Chain Group transitioned to 50:50 Sheep CRC-ALMTech funding in 2017-18, then to 25:75 this year, and will be fully funded by ALMTech after the Sheep CRC concludes in 2019. This funding is supplemented by contributions from the collaborating partners.

More information is available at

Source: Sheep CRC.


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