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JBS Beef Value Chain Producer Group Engagement

Did you know that improving producer knowledge of their value chain can result in improved market compliance, which increases overall profitability?

Project start date: 01 July 2015
Project end date: 01 May 2017
Publication date: 29 November 2019
Livestock species: Grassfed cattle

Summary

The south-east Australian beef industry is in a position to profit from growing consumer demand for pasture-finished beef derived from production systems that commend welfare, ethics and sustainability as part of their enterprise.

Building on the Pasture Fed Beef program (2014 – 2016), this project aimed to increase the stability of the supply of Australian pasture-finished beef and increase producers' capability to engage with their desired target market.

The results of this project demonstrate that creating a value chain between producers and a specific target market can help producers maintain a consistent supply of product and improve compliance to market specifications. This approach has resulted in increased producer knowledge and improved market compliance, production efficiency and profitability of individual businesses.

Objectives

This project established two pilot focus groups to help improve production efficiency and profitability by increasing producer understanding of all components of the pasture-finished beef value chain.

To assess profitability and sustainability of the production systems, an on-farm enterprise economic analysis was completed, along with documented case studies that analysed of the cost of production for the supplier.

Key findings

  • Five case studies were compiled and reflected the range of strategies that can benefit production and contain valuable lessons as extension tools. The case studies have provided examples of how adjustments have been made to existing production systems, such as grazing winter wheat or new initiatives undertaken, such as taking on agistment to complement current systems.
  • Results of this project demonstrate that engagement in a value chain can provide the following benefits:
    • improved communication and relationships lead to increased ability to meet customer specifications, in quantity, quality and time of supply
    • feedback to supplying producers is an important tool to improve compliance to product specifications and it can lead to an improved ability to meet target market demands.
  • Cattle selection skills and preparation pre-slaughter to maximise compliance results have been critical to increasing producer profitability.

Benefits to industry

The two main benefits to the producers and JBS were an improvement in compliance to Farm Assurance specifications and a more even spread of production across the year.

The skills learnt by producers involved in the project can be used when supplying other markets and have whole-of-farm benefits in relation to pastures, grazing management and livestock marketing.

MLA action

The case studies have been extended through JBS's Farm Assurance program, Agriculture Victoria's BetterBeef network and MLA's adoption channels.

JBS has continued to adapt and work with suppliers on the issues affecting their production and profitability that impact their ability to supply JBS. This is evidenced by JBS working to improve supply arrangements through agistment contracts in Tasmania, working with producers to supply small consignments of cattle and offering kill space in advance over spring.

Future research

There is a need for further communications to producers regarding opportunities with differentiated products based on carcase traits or the Meat Standards Australia Index, to engage producers in supplying higher quality product.

Processors should continue to work with supply chain managers and producers to identify the constraints and pressure points throughout the supply chain to determine the impacts on carcase attributes and meat quality.

Related resources

MLA guides

External guides

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: JBS Australia Pty. Ltd.