The rise and rise of MSA

31 July 2015

The growth in MSA shows no sign of slowing down, with the 2014-15 results breaking more records.

Here are some of the highlights:


  • Over-the-hooks premiums for MSA yearling cattle averaged 33¢/kg above non-MSA yearling cattle compared to $0.29/kg in 2013-14 (Source: NLRS OTH reports).National-MSA-beef-grading-numbers.jpg
    • MSA yearling cattle in Queensland received the greatest average premium of 40¢/kg (compared to 32¢/kg in 2013-14).
    • Average premiums of 26¢/kg were reported in NSW (similar to 2013-14's 25¢/kg). 
  • A 6% increase in the number of cattle presented for MSA grading – representing nearly an additional 200,000 head. 
  • The MSA Index was 57.61 (national average), an increase of 0.84 points on the previous year, representing a significant increase in eating quality of MSA cattle nationally.
  • Even with the difficult seasonal conditions faced by producers this year, compliance to MSA requirements was the same as 2013-14, at 93%. MSA requirements do not include company specifications but relate to meeting pH, meat colour and fat coverage requirements. High pH and/or dark meat colour were again the main reasons for non-compliance.


  • A 24.5% increase in the number of sheep processed using MSA pathways and identified as MSA to the end user.
  • 3.47 million lambs were MSA trademarked in 2014-15, compared with 2.78 million in 2013-14.
  • Victoria was the largest producer of MSA lambs, accounting for 48% of the total.

Producer adoption

  • Producers registered for MSA increased by 12%, with 41,973 now registered across Australia (from 37,616 in 2013-14). Of the new producers, 3,500 are eligible to supply cattle  and 2,200 are eligible for sheep.
  • myMSA  was launched in August 2014 and already 1,030 producers have logged in 5,457 times to access carcase grading feedback.

Brands and end users

  • 21 additional MSA beef and/or lamb brands were licensed, taking the total to 131. Of these, 115 are beef specific, 12 are lamb specific and four are multi-species.
  • 917 additional end user outlets (wholesale, supermarket, retail and foodservice) were licensed to use the MSA trademark, an increase of 33% on 2013-14. There are now 346 MSA licensed wholesalers supplying 3,330 MSA licensed foodservice and retail outlets.


  • 2,423 producers participated in MSA training;  196 processor operatives participated in MSA optimisation training; 161 processor operatives from 24 abattoirs completed MSA processing training (beef and sheep); 23 new MSA graders were accredited; and 36 people completed the week-long MSA Meat Science course.
  • 820 end users were trained – an increase of 12% from 2013-14 with 60% utilising online training tools.

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