The development will see the introduction of a new X-ray and 3D digital imaging technology which will allow for accurate measuring of life animals and carcasses. This in turn will allow for value-based pricing based on known meat yield and eating quality.
Such developments would enable producers to be paid on the objective measurement of the product supplied, which will lead to improved pricing grids clarifications, better targeting of markets and maximised profits.
“The funding of this project will deliver a quantum leap in the development and adoption of technology because it leverages the capacity of 19 research and industry partners,” said MLA managing director Richard Norton.
“The project builds on the value already being realised through our world-leading MSA [Meat Standards Australia] eating quality programme in supplying products tailored to our consumers’ needs. It will also help Australia’s global competitiveness, which is in the best interests of every member of our industry.”
Three measurement technologies are being developed under the project. These initiatives are being created for use on-farm and within the processing sector to allow for carcase composition to be reliably identified, and for a more accurate reading of eating quality.
Processors will be able to benefit from the technology by assessing lean meat yield for a precise valuing of carcases, assisting with market-based cutting and deboning choices. Producers’ on-farm decision making and profitability also has the potential to be aided by the supply of information back to the value chain and its integration with genetic databases.
“Industry has been looking for carcase measurement for some time – and paying all sectors in the supply chain on objective performance is a key goal of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan,” continued Norton.
“Providing improved carcase composition, eating quality and compliance feedback from ‘paddock to plate’ is vital for a more efficient and market-orientated supply chain.
“The evolution of this new technology represents a significant leap in the application of leading edge science for the industry, bringing us technology more commonly used in medical science.
“Through MLA’s experience in project delivery and the combined efforts of our research and industry collaborators, this project will deliver real value to producers, processors and the entire supply chain.”
This development project is funded through the Rural Research and Development for Profit programme and will build upon earlier findings on an “insights to innovation” project to identify and utilise export market opportunities.