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Solid progress seen in adoption of enhanced Australian beef language

Beef Central, 28/02/2018

PROGRESS is well underway to implement some of the 46 recommendations handed down by the Australian Beef Language Review.

Since the release of the review in June 2016, 12 recommendations have been actioned and are now delivering outcomes for industry, a joint industry statement released today reports.

The implementation of the Eating Quality Graded (*EQG*) cipher was among the first recommendations to be realised. Beef Cental covered the launch of the new cipher in this earlier article.

Estimated to potentially add an additional $46 million to the supply chain each year, the *EQG* cipher is offered as an alternative to dentition-based ciphers, giving MSA brandowners the option to pack and label beef according to consumer eating quality outcomes.

Other recommendations implemented and approved through the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee include:

  • The removal of meat colour as an MSA minimum requirement. That development was covered in this November 2016 Beef Central article
  • The Australia Lot Feeders Association has developed an additional Grain Fed Finished standard and cipher based on NFAS, days on feed (DOF) eligibility and MSA grading. See earlier article.
  • An Animal Raising Claims Framework for Beef Production in Australia was released in October 2017, addressing a need for more specific descriptors underpinning brand claims.
  • MSA has implemented a risk-based grader integrity program using face-to-face interactions and grading data analysis with around 250 MSA graders each year.
  • Tightening assessment pass marks for the national standardised OsCAP system to improve grader consistency in 2018.

Some recommendations not being progressed

Of equal importance are recommendations that are not being progressed following industry research, review, debate and agreement.

The recommendation to replace the existing *A* beef cipher to *ANY* will not be progressed. Research indicated there was minimal risk of *A* being misinterpreted as a quality indicator, so it will remain in the language as it currently stands. Industry reached consensus on this recommendation.

Collaboration between industry groups to educate the supply chain on the ongoing outcomes of the Beef Language Review and their value for businesses will be a priority in 2018.

The Beef Language Review was initiated by peak industry councils including the Australian Meat Industry Council, Australian Lot Feeders Association and Cattle Council of Australia. It examined how developments in science and technology and growing consumer understanding might reshape the language used across the Australian beef industry.

The implementation of the recommendations are being progressed by relevant industry committees under the oversight of the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee.

These committees include the MSA Beef Taskforce, the Animal Raising Claims working group and key MLA programs including the Advanced Livestock Measurement Technology (ALMTech) Rural R&D for Profit program and the Digital Value Chain Strategy, with regular reporting back to the Beef Language Review industry working group.

  • See Beef Central’s initial article after the release of the Beef Language Review White Paper and peak council responses here.
  • To read the Beef Language Review White Paper in full, click here, and the industry working group’s response to each recommendation, click here.

 

Source: AMIC, MLA.

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