In Japan alone, 50% of Australian beef packs sold at retail now carry this logo, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) international business manager in Japan, Andrew Cox told GlobalMeatNews.
"If you walk into a McDonald’s in Tokyo today, you will see the logo on tray mats as part of its latest Aussie beef education campaign," Cox said. "The logo can also be seen on menus in many restaurant chains, some of them with thousands of outlets."
In March this year, the True Aussie logo was launched in South Korea at retail level, with 85% of major supermarkets across the metropolitan areas, such as Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province, now promoting ‘True Aussie’ beef, according to Cox.
That apart, the logo can be found on retail meat packs and foodservice menus globally and it is being used by the red meat industry in direct consumer branding activities in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and many Middle Eastern markets, China and the USA, he said.
Based on this success, on 15 April, Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation and the MLA decided to extend the logo to all of Australia’s livestock and agricultural products. Australian Lot Feeders’ Association chief executive officer Dougal Gordon said the industry would decide over the next 12 months on the standards with which industry segments must comply to carry the logo.
With consumers particularly in developed countries increasingly interested in how food is produced, a unified logo will help: "We believe the key attributes of Australian product, as underpinned by our strong systems and programmes, helps deliver upon consumers demands in this area," said Gordon.
‘True Aussie’ was unveiled for the meat industry about a year ago. Although all Australian red meat exports are eligible to be branded under this logo, many exporters have yet to start using it. The industry has to go through "rigorous standards and industry system accreditation before they are branded True Aussie, including [compliance with] the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) programme", Cox said. "Red meat supply chains must currently be licensed by MLA and comply with the standards and requirements governing the use of the True Aussie logo," he added.
The bottom line of True Aussie however, claimed Gordon, was not numbers, but to have more "consistent messaging regarding Australian produce" or in other words "key attributes of Australian agricultural products namely ‘clean, green and disease-free’".
Research conducted in key Asian markets has given the MLA "great confidence in the ‘True Aussie’ strategy," Cox said. "After one year in market we will commence consumer awareness research," he added.