MSA continues to deliver for Australian red meat industry in 2015-16

16 December 2016

The world leading Meat Standards Australia (MSA) eating quality program has continued to grow and deliver returns to the farm gate in 2015-16, with more than 3 million cattle and 5 million sheep presented for MSA grading during the last financial year.

According to new data for 2015-16 released as part of MSA’s Annual Outcomes Report, the program also delivered an additional $153 million in farm gate revenue thanks to premiums paid for MSA accredited and compliant cattle, with more than 3000 additional cattle and sheep producers becoming MSA registered.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s General Manager – Producer Consultation & Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the program’s strong performance was encouraging, especially for cattle, where it increased its share of the national slaughter by 4% – representing a total of 38% – despite the decline in slaughter nationally.

“Based on the average carcase weight of MSA cattle in 2015-16, MSA beef producers potentially received an additional $66 per head for young non-feedlot cattle that met MSA and company specifications,” Mr Crowley said.

“Over-the-hooks cattle prices for MSA cattle remained higher on average than non-MSA cattle in both Queensland and New South Wales, with the average differential for young non-feedlot cattle across all weight ranges a strong 24c/kg.

“In the face of tough climatic conditions in parts of the country, MSA beef producers were able to maintain 93% compliance to MSA minimum requirements. However, the national average MSA Index reduced by 0.09 to 57.52 which reflects some tougher finishing conditions through the year.”

NSW experienced the strongest growth in the number of MSA graded cattle, reaching almost 1 million head. By volume Queensland continued to boast the largest number of MSA graded cattle with 1.3 million head. Tasmania and South Australia continued to show strong adoption rates with more than 60% of their respective state cattle slaughter MSA graded.

Mr Crowley said the MSA sheepmeat program had been extremely successful, experiencing a 500% increase in the number of lambs processed through MSA pathways and standards since 2010-11.

“The proportion of lambs presented through MSA pathways in 2015-16 and subsequently trademarked as MSA through the supply chain rose to 63%, an increase of 12% on 2014-15,” Mr Crowley said.

Mr Crowley noted that beyond the paddock, nine new brands registered with MSA to promote the quality of their product, bringing the total to 140, and eight brands have now adopted exporter guidelines to communicate MSA in international markets. Over 3600 Australian end user businesses are now licensed to promote MSA beef and sheepmeat.

MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve the eating quality consistency of beef and sheepmeat. The system is based on over 700,000 consumer taste tests by over 100,000 consumers from nine countries and takes into account all factors that affect the eating quality of the 169 cuts and cooking combinations within a carcase.

Click here for the MSA Annual Outcomes report or visit the MLA website:

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