BEEF producers who consistently deliver carcases with superior eating quality will be recognised when the Meat Standards Australia Excellence in Eating Quality Awards series is held nationally in March.
The series, hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia, will travel to six states, with each event featuring an interactive forum centred around the theme of ‘Growing and grading the greatest meat on earth’, followed by the Awards ceremony.
Registrations are now open for the half-day forums, which are designed to equip producers with the tools to make practical on-farm changes to benefit their herd’s eating quality outcomes, the end consumer, and the profitability of the industry.
The biennial series, originally due to be held in September and October this year, was rescheduled to 2022 due to the impact of COVID restrictions.
The awards are presented to top-performing MSA registered producers and are based on MSA Index results for MSA graded cattle during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
Awards will be announced in each state for Most Outstanding MSA Feedlot, and two awards for Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producers, to recognise producers of both larger (Band 1) and smaller (Band 2) MSA consignments.
One producer from each state will also win the MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Progress Award for showing the greatest improvement in their MSA results since the last Awards series.
A new award will be presented to a producer in each state for the Champion MSA Index Carcase. This will be presented for an individual carcase that had the highest MSA Index in the state over the two-year period.
MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve eating quality consistency of beef and sheepmeat. The MSA beef program is based on almost 1.2 million consumer taste tests from more than 171,000 consumers from 11 countries and takes into account the factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to plate.
MSA program manager Dr David Packer said the forums would provide the opportunity for beef producers and others along the supply chain to hear from the MLA leadership team and industry speakers on how to maximise value using the MSA program.
“The forums will detail the 2021 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights (ABEQI) report as a tool to benchmark MSA performance against other producers and understand the on-farm production factors that influence beef eating quality,” Dr Packer said.
Attendees will hear from local producers who are using MSA and carcase feedback to meet their target markets and key industry advisors providing guidance on management and genetic factors to influence positive MSA outcomes.
The audience will also have the unique opportunity to ask questions of local processors and brand owners about the importance of meeting customer requirements.
“The strong eating quality performance of Australian beef over 2019-21 has been supported by participation along the entire Australian red meat supply chain. I hope to see many members of our red meat industry at these events, so we can celebrate these outstanding results together,” Dr Packer said.
The Awards and producer forums are free to attend, but registration is essential, and numbers are limited:
- Victoria – Tuesday 1 March, The Cube, Hovell St, Wodonga.
- Tasmania – Friday 4 March, Tramsheds Function Centre, Invermay Road, Invermay.
- New South Wales – Tuesday 8 March, City Bowling Club, Dumaresq Street, Armidale. This date has moved from 10 March
- Queensland – Thursday 10 March, Explorers Inn Function Centre, Warrego Highway, Roma. This date has moved from 8 March
- South Australia – Tuesday 15 March, Robe Football Club, O’Halloran Street, Robe.
- Western Australia – Thursday 17 March, Bunbury Entertainment Centre, Blair Street, Bunbury.
Doors open at Noon with the forums to begin at 2pm. Afternoon tea and a light dinner and drinks will be provided to coincide with the Awards presentations.