AUSTRALIA’S sheep meat producers have welcomed a new $14 million Meat & Livestock Australia contribution toward installation of DEXA objective measurement systems in red meat processing plants.
MLA announced today it will invest an additional $14 million to co-fund the commercial installation of more DEXA objective measurement systems in individual red meat processing plants keen to accelerate the adoption of the technology.
The additional $14 million – approved by the MLA Board at its meeting last week – will assist in meeting the growing demand from individual red meat processors to adopt the technology.
The Sheepmeat Council of Australia supports the release of levy funds to help co-fund the DEXA roll-out. At a series of committee meetings next week, culminating in an SCA council meeting, the amount of levy funds needed is expected to be finalised.
“We’ve certainly got the imprimatur of the (SCA) councillors to go ahead with it, it’s just a matter of how much other funding we can get to make our dollars go further,” Sheepmeat Council of Australia president Jeff Murray said.
MLA recently announced an initial $10 million to co-fund the commencement of the commercial rollout of the technology, with the DEXA installations to be funded via matching contributions from participating processors and MLA Donor Company.
At the time, MLA had received project submissions from four individual processors, but invited expressions of interest from other beef and sheep meat processors.
MLA managing director Richard Norton said MLA had received strong interest from a number of large meat processors who were well advanced with their funding applications. This included sheep meat and beef processors.
“This additional commitment brings the total funding available to $24 million through MDC to co-fund the installation of DEXA with individual processors who are keen on accelerating adoption of the technology,” Mr Norton said.
Under this project, 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.
“This project is integral to MLA’s investment in research and development of objective measurement systems that our red meat industry can use to make precise assessment and better commercial decisions,” Mr Norton said.
Mr Norton said in addition to this funding, MLA continued to undertake work to enable industry to consider the most appropriate funding model for an industry-wide rollout.
A recent joint statement from all red meat peak industry councils endorsed the introduction of objective measurement across industry, including the adoption of DEXA technology.
An OCM adoption and commercialisation taskforce has also been formed, under the chairmanship of respected industry veteran Gary Burridge, and is progressing the adoption and commercialisation of OCM technologies including DEXA.
MLA will make further announcements regarding each of the installations as funding applications are received, and those projects are finalised and contracted.
Sources: MLA, SCA.