Automation and Value Chain Technologies

MLA together with the Australian Meat Processor Corporation invests up to $15 million per annum in processing efficiency and productivity R&D to ensure that the global competitiveness of the Australian red meat value chain is maintained. In 2014-15 financial year $2.4 million was invested by processors and managed by AMPC, see AMPC website for outcomes of this investment. An additional $11.2 million in voluntary contributions ($4.6 million), processor contributions ($1.0 million) and matched Government funding ($5.6 million) were attracted for investment via MLA Donor Company (MDC). The benefits of automation solutions and the detailed processing feedback to producers and the broad value chain results in benefits to all industry stakeholders.

Improving efficiencies in the processing sector will ensure that the Australian industry remains competitive internationally, even with our comparatively high input costs. 

The key drivers and opportunities for improving processing efficiencies are maximising yield and labour use, developing technologies for objective measurement, addressing workplace health and safety issues, as well as implementing broader business efficiencies.

A key activity in the development of new technologies and processes to increase productivity is to quantitatively assess the input costs and realised benefits.

The focus of current processing efficiency and automation R&D includes:

  • Lamb processing automation – maximising yields through accurate cutting lines and automation. Watch demonstration video below.
  • Beef processing automation – developing a system to maximise yields through accurate cutting lines and automation
  • Slaughter - add value to lamb and beef slaughter and dressing
  • Objective measurement  - producer feedback, optimising carcase yield and improving eating quality
  • Workplace health & safety – reducing workplace injuries and insurance costs