Red meat R&D: Advancing red meat sustainability

Beef Central, 16/09/2021

WELCOME to the fortnightly series of articles focusing on red meat R&D, presented by Beef Central and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation. These items highlight a range of projects designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity, product quality and safety of Australian red meat sold into the domestic market and around the world.

All have the ability to help underpin Australia’s unrivalled reputation as the world’s premier export of quality beef, lamb and offal. Links to previous articles in the series appear at the bottom of this page.



THE Australian Meat Processor Corporation has a strong sustainability agenda and has highlighted a recent study that shows meat processing plants produce zero food waste.

The meat processing research and development corporation has also recently launched two services to help its members apply for sustainability grants and assess solar energy options.

Zero waste

The 2021 National Food Waste Strategy feasibility study by the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL) confirms that red meat processors have:

  • nil food waste in-plant, and
  • nil emissions attributable to food waste in-plant.

The FIAL study showed the largest share of red meat food waste was occurring in retail, household and hospitality parts of the supply chain. The study also noted the most significant food production and manufacturing hot-spots for food waste were occurring in non-meat products.

AMPC chief executive Chris Taylor said processors had a strong track record in eliminating food waste in their plants, so the findings attributable to the processing industry came as no surprise.

“Maximising carcase utilisation and thereby minimising waste is a critical focus for processors,” he said.

AMPC is a partner in the Waste to Profit program that includes R&D around the recovery of resources from food manufacturing waste streams. These recovered resources include animal feeds, biopolymers, composts and energy products.

It has also launched a new project around wastewater modernisation to develop and deploy an online digital model for red meat processor members so they can get rapid detailed advice concerning modularised wastewater treatment options.

AMPC energy and environment grants helpline

AMPC has launched a free service that provides its members with expert information, advice and guidance to help them identify and apply for energy and environment government funding and grants.

Members can:

  • Speak to a grant application expert
  • Identify what they are eligible for
  • Be guided through the entire grant process
  • Check their eligibility
  • Get help drafting applications

AMPC program manager Matthew Deegan said the corporation was providing this service because there are so many grants out there, often with significant paperwork required. Some are competitive and only open for short periods, while others are based on achieving a verified methodology around emissions reduction.

“We’re helping members more easily identify and access these grants so that they can continue on their sustainability pathway when it comes to energy and the environment,” Mr Deegan said.

The helpline has identified funding opportunities that in some cases may provide millions of dollars in government funding to help processors make the shift to clean technology alternatives.

Processors can contact the helpline on 1800 2 GRANTS.

Improving confidence around renewable energy

A recent survey by AMPC revealed red meat processor members were unsure about, or disappointed by, the performance of solar photo-voltaic (PV) power generation systems.

The survey also revealed that solar PV retail offerings received by members were poorly presented, included significant errors, or over-estimated system performance. It became apparent that AMPC needed to introduce an independent, transparent, and well-informed second opinion for members when they were considering solar PV.

AMPC is providing a free service to help members assess and design new Solar PV and storage systems or check their existing systems.

Program manager Matthew Deegan said solar PV was a well-established technology however it needed improved transparency and clarity to allow members to have confidence when they are considering proposals.

“Our service will assess the requirements, and right-size the design for members so they get a clearer understanding of what suits and what the outputs are likely to be. And for those members who already have a solar PV system and need a performance review – the service will also provide that,” he said.


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