INCREASING compliance and reducing costs to producers and processors has been the main objective of the industry’s Livestock Data Link project, launched 12 months ago by Meat & Livestock Australia.
An industry-wide, online carcase analysis tool, LDL links slaughter information to the National Livestock Identification System and Meat Standards Australia databases ensuring producers receive comprehensive feedback on processed livestock.
JBS Australia was the first processor to adopt the system, launched during the company’s Southern supply chain conference in May last year.
JBS Australia’s Jose Webb said LDL allowed the company to provide enhanced feedback to JBS Farm Assurance producers which in turn allowed producers to analyse their business performance and make continual improvements through understanding and obtaining advanced carcase feedback information.
“Identifying and acknowledging the most compliant beef and lamb producers that continuously provide compliant carcases and meet company and market specifications will not only reduce the non-compliant cost to producers and processors, but to industry as well,” she said.
A study conducted by consultants, ProAnd Associates, estimated that within the beef industry alone, $51 million is lost every year from cattle not meeting market specifications and an additional $64m is lost annually from carcase downgrades.
“By pinpointing non-compliant carcase issues, JBS is able to identify and work with industry and producers to reduce or mitigate the issues through further research and development, within producer groups such as the JBS FA grassfed group,” Ms Webb said.
Recently awarded both the JBS scholarship and the CAS Hawker Scholarship in Canberra, Ms Webb said LDL also identified non-compliant carcases, non-compliance issues and associated costs.
“It gives producers and processors the ability to benchmark within lots, by property, by region and or at state level,” she said.
The tool was also used to determine JBS Southern’s inaugural beef and lamb producers of the year last year, from a cohort of 3000 producers. This was achieved by analysing a number of traits, such as percentage of compliant animals, MSA Index scores, along with other factors such as number of head supplied, spread of supply and loyalty to the program.
“Identifying and awarding the beef and lamb producers of the year will result in increased producer satisfaction and appreciation through understanding that processors are working to one line of communication, to strengthen and develop the relationship they have with producers,” Ms Webb said.
“The analysis that underpins these awards is only the beginning of refining and determining what could be the ‘A’ and ‘B’ grade suppliers within the Farm Assured program. The analysis may result in increased producer incentives, such as price received per kilogram and access to kill space during peak demand.”
This recognition would increase producers’ determination to strive to produce the ‘ideal’ and most sought-after carcases, she said.
Animal Production 2016 conference
JBS Australia’s Jose Webb will speak on the LDL project and its implications for industry at Animal Production 2016, a conference being held in South Australia in July by the Australian/NZ Societies of Animal Production.
Sponsors include JBS/Primo, which will also provide beef, lamb and smallgoods and pork for the conference Gala Dinner; the University of Adelaide, MLA and Primary Industries and Regions SA.
Keynote speakers at the conference include renowned US animal behaviour expert Temple Grandin.
What: Animal Production 2016 conference
When: July 4-7
Where: Glenelg, South Australia.
View the program/register to attend: click here.
Conference updates: Click here.