Praise for MSA achievements from veteran feedlot industry leader

Beef Central, 24/11/2023

Australian Lot Feeders Association life member and former president (1992-1995), Kev Roberts, rose during Meat & Livestock Australia’s 25th annual general meeting in Bendigo to draw attention to the achievements of the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) red meat eating quality program over the past 25 years, pointing out that more than 50 percent of carcases today are graded MSA.

Kev Roberts addresses the 2023 MLA AGM.

Mr Roberts served on the ALFA Council for 19 years and was the inaugural chair of the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme.

“Under your leadership and the board that you have had over the previous times, I think we as producers we need to be very grateful for your efforts in pretty tough times,” Mr Roberts said.

“I am very familiar with the MSA program, I happened to be about when it was being formed, I am very proud to see where it has got to, also very proud that I was part of change in that where the processors in the early days were not going to adopt it, or not adopt it as well as we wanted.

“And Jason (Strong) would remember we had some pretty hard old heads to soften up to get it to where it is today.

“And it is great to see today that more than 50pc of carcases are graded MSA.”

As a producer and now a seedstock producer, he said he was delighted to see “that quality is the driving force of our industry”.

Mr Roberts also urged the board to prioritise traceability standards moving forward.

“Finally, I think it is terribly terribly important, again I am very familiar with all the traceability programs that have been developed over the last numbers of years.

“I think that we need to hold those traceabilty standards and operations almost in the whole

“Every decision you make as a board needs to be getting not only just in product development but to make sure we keep our industry way up there as being reliable as a supplier and a safe supplier.

“So thank you to Alan and everyone on the board.”


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  1. Mike Introvigne, 24/11/2023

    The only problem with MSA Kevin is the demise of the star system or any type of system that acknowledges the various levels of MSA grade. Unfortunately, it isn’t good enough to grade MSA because it encompasses such a varied result. If we are to improve the demand for beef domestically then we have to distinguish between the actual grade of MSA not just call it all MSA.
    To achieve this 50% compliance, we bastardised MSA so more cattle could be included and instead of premiums being paid for the higher levels of grade attainment everything gets paid the same. So instead of producers being paid for yield and eating quality we get paid for weight with the only discounts being for non compliance of carcase weight or fat thickness. The only time you discounted for MSA is a so called dark cutter. Why as seedstock producers do we bother with the workload involved in trying to provide sires to the industry, domestic market, with potential for carcase yield and marbling.
    I have to disagree entirely with Kevin, MLA need chastising for not providing our industry with payment systems that reward genetic potential and with-it greater profitability. We have been left behind by the pork and poultry industry as far as productivity gains and even the lamb industry has embraced crossbreeding to deliver improved value.

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