Cattle Council of Australia today announced the launch of the new Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS) at Teys Australia’s Beenleigh processing plant south of Brisbane.
PCAS is a voluntary certification arrangement that will enable the grassfed beef production supply chain to provide “Certified Pasturefed” cattle to the market place.
“It has long been the claim that Australia produces the best grassfed beef in the world,” CCA spokesman and AgForce Cattle president, Howard Smith said in a statement issued following the launch.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Australian producers to uphold the integrity of that claim using a certified system.”
“PCAS allows for premium, high quality, grassfed beef to be branded and recognised,” Mr Smith said.
"A large portion of Australia's cattle herd is exclusively pasturefed but beef from these cattle is rarely differentiated in the marketplace. PCAS will provide producers with a valuable marketing opportunity.”
Cattle Council chief executive Jed Matz said the certification program provides an industry recognised standard that supports claims surrounding production methods and provides the assurance that discerning consumers are demanding.
Underpinning PCAS are the PCAS Standards which govern the on-farm feed requirements and traceability of the cattle as well as pre-slaughter handling practices which influence eating quality.
The standards also include two optional modules to support claims relating to freedom from hormonal growth promotants and antibiotics.
"Through industry consultation, the PCAS Standards have been developed to work in both the domestic and international markets, and they have been road-tested with producers to ensure they work on-farm. The on-farm practices and records that need to be maintained to meet the standards should not be out of the ordinary for a typical grassfed beef production enterprise," Mr Matz said.
"Processors, wholesalers and retailers may choose to affix their own pasturefed or grassfed brand to cattle sourced from Certified Pasturefed properties. Their brands then become supported by a certified and assured process."
Producers can obtain a Certified Pasturefed status in three steps:
- Undertaking an online self-audit to determine eligibility;
- Registering their property and paying an administration fee;
- Successfully completing an on-site audit.
Cattle Council’s statement said it was thrilled that key industry processor Teys Australia saw value in the PCAS system underpinning their brands.
Teys Australia general manager of marketing, Mark Ellison said consumers are more discerning than ever around the origins of their food. Teys view the launch of PCAS as a critical element in delivering supply chain integrity around a certified pasturefed offering while capitalising on Australia's unique position as a world leader in supplying high quality grassfed beef to the market place.”
"PCAS will underpin the Teys 'Grasslands' umbrella brands which target the consumer who shops with a conscience, cares about sustainable production, the provenance of their produce and having a great eating experience."
"In terms of further adoption by other processors, wholesalers and retailers, Cattle Council continues to have ongoing discussions and is confident that PCAS will soon enjoy broader supply chain support," Mr Matz said.