In response to the Beef Language Review, the industry also called for the language to better reflect consumer requirements.
The review was triggered by the Peak Industry Councils – the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA). The organisations examined how developments in science and technology, coupled with growing consumer understanding, could influence and shape the language used across the Australian beef industry.
The Beef Language was first created in the 1980s and while enhancements have been made over the decades, the review is the first time the whole language will be re-assessed, with the purpose of communicating information transfer at all points, from ‘conception to consumption’. During the review, it was concluded that there was a need for international and national Australian customers to be served by the language, as they rely on it to deliver commercial trading requirements.
Key topics of discussion from the White Paper
• Potential future changes to the AUS-MEAT Language in light of current and future developments in science and technology, customer requirements and international market access requirements
• The existing and potential new descriptors (objective and subjective) at every stage of the red meat value chain, including production, processing, wholesaling, retailing, consumption and future regulatory requirements
• Develop a range of future language options, test those against a range of trading situations and propose a preferred option for industry.
Following on from the review undertaken by the industry bodies, the outcomes will now be put into practice.
“These outcomes presented an exciting opportunity for Australia’s beef industry to provide clear and consistent language that’s relevant across the entire value chain,” said David Hill, a spokesperson for CCA.
Peter Greenham from the AMIC added that the updated language played a vital role in ensuring Australia was a main player on the global stage. He said: “If our beef industry is to remain domestically and internationally competitive, we need to ensure we are responsive to the needs of customers and consumers.”
One of the key areas of focus in the revised language is making sure that consistency across all areas of the value chain will be upheld, providing increased transparency and confidence to the industry from production, through to the consumer.
“The language we use must be relevant to the customer, efficiently and accurately describe our product, be easy to understand and practical to implement,” commented Grant Carey from ALFA.
Representatives from the Peak Industry Council said this review was an example of the industry coming together to collaborate for the benefit of the whole industry.
The implementation of the recommendations will be driven by three relevant established industry bodies – the Meat Standards Australia Beef Taskforce, the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee and key Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) programmes, including the Objective Carcase Measurement Rural R&D for Profit programme and the Digital Value Chain Strategy – with regular reporting back to the Beef Language Review industry working group.