MLA approves $10m for DEXA installations

Beef Central, 22/05/2017

MEAT & Livestock Australia will invest up to $10 million to co-fund the installation of DEXA objective measurement systems in red meat processing plants following multiple requests to accelerate the adoption of the technology.

DEXA X-ray image of a beef forequarter taken from the Teys trials

DEXA X-ray image of a beef forequarter taken from the Teys trials

Under the project, MLA will work with willing partners to develop a single scientific measurement of lean meat yield – and systems to collect and use data across supply chains for future research and development in genetics, animal health and husbandry, processing automation and other productivity improvements on and off farm.

MLA managing director Richard Norton said the DEXA installations would be funded via matching contributions from participating processors and MLA Donor Company.

Mr Norton said MLA had already received project submissions from Gundagai Meat Processors, Frewstal Pty Ltd, Wagstaff Cranbourne Pty Ltd and Teys Australia, but also invited expressions of interest from other beef and sheepmeat processors.

“This project is an important part of MLA’s investment in the research and development of objective measurement systems that our red meat and livestock industry can use to make precise assessments and better commercial decisions,” Mr Norton said.

“It will enable supply chains and the businesses within them to drive new efficiencies, generate more value and better meet market demands, which ultimately improves our industry’s international competitiveness.”

Mr Norton said MLA was still working with the industry’s peak councils on its proposal to install stage one of the DEXA technology into all those AusMeat registered slaughter facilities in Australia which wanted it.

“This $10 million project that we’ve announced today is funded through the MDC and simply allows MLA and those companies who want to get on with implementing DEXA to do so,” Mr Norton said.

“While the DEXA technology is ready for commercial application, its adoption does herald a transformation in the way our industry has done business for many decades and it’s not surprising that industry representatives are carefully considering the options.

“If the industry’s peak councils and processors do decide to accelerate the adoption of objective carcase measurement across the industry through an investment of producer levies, we can do so.”

AMIC welcomes $10 investment

The Australian Meat Industry Council has welcomed the commercial investment program announced by MLA this morning, with AMIC members Gundagai Meat Processors, Frewstal and Wagstaff Cranbourne.

“As well as the on-plant efficiencies, MLA will work with these AMIC members under commercial arrangements to explore systems to collect and use data across supply chains for potential productivity improvements on and off farm,” AMIC chair Lachie Hart said.

“AMIC reiterates its continued support for the utilisation of technology, in a commercial environment, for Objective Carcase Measurement,” Mr Hart said.

“AMIC endorses undertaking this process through commercial arrangements between interested processing companies and the MLA Donor Company. It is worth noting that this process is actually individual processor company investment, matched by the Australian Government, through the MDC, not producer levy funding through MLA,” he said.

“This shows the processing sector is committed to technology in this area.”

Mr Hart also supported the comments from MLA regarding progression on Project 150. “AMIC agrees with MLA that, through Project 150, adoption does herald a transformation in the way our industry has done business for many decades. As industry representatives, AMIC is carefully considering the options for the processing sector, by working directly with the Australian Meat Processors Corporation and MLA, on the outcomes of the EY Review, which is due to be released soon.”


  • Processors wishing to submit an expression of interest for co-funding the installation of a DEXA system should contact Sean Starling at MLA –


Sources: MLA, AMIC


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