Indonesian supply chains appear to have passed their first major supply test, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Mid-December was looming as a critical test of the capacity of Indonesian supply chains to absorb the large numbers of cattle that have been shipped to the market since a Federal Government suspension was lifted in July.
Under a new regulatory framework imposed by the Federal Government to assure the welfare of Australian cattle shipped to the market, exporters can only deliver cattle to fully accredited supply chains.
To achieve accreditation abattoirs must install full traceability systems and meet Australian Government welfare and training standards.
With more than 160,000 cattle exported to Indonesian feedlots since the ban was lifted in July, the race has been on to bring adequate numbers of abattoirs online to process those numbers.
The first of those cattle were moved out of feedlots and into approved supply chains in late November, with the main bottleneck of supply moving through to abattoirs in the past few weeks.
Meat and Livestock Australia live export manager Michael Finucan told Beef Central this week that more than 40 abattoirs had now been accredited under the regulatory framework, and those supply chains were handling the flow of cattle.
The individual capacites of accredited abattoirs ranges from just five to 150 head per night, but Mr Finucan said there was now enough abattoir space accredited to ensure cattle on-hand will be processed within closed assurance systems.
"The new supply chains are coming online at a decent rate,” Mr Finucan said.
“We’re keeping in contact with them and working with them, but cattle are moving through the system now and they will be having their follow-up audits done over the next couple of months.
“The risk that we had of having a really tight pipeline has been alleviated now.”
MLA expects the number of cattle exported to Indonesia to total 188,000 head by the end of December, which will take the total for the year 410,000.
It is understood that more than 85pc of abattoirs in approved supply chains also now incorporate stunning.
How last week’s decision by the Indonesian Government to cut import permits from Australia almost in half for next year will affect further investment decisions in Indonesian supply chains remains a key issue as 2012 unfolds.