May 19, 2022

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Born to play

Lamb gets new quality accreditation as meat industry rolls out its latest technology

The lamb business is hoping world-initial engineering put in in a New South Wales abattoir will transform the way farmers are compensated for lamb and how people pick out their meat. 

Gundagai Meat Processors has invested about two decades piloting new technology termed an MEQ (meat taking in good quality) probe that measures intramuscular body fat (IMF), offering an objective insight into lamb having high quality.

The engineering was accredited by pink meat sector peak body AUS-MEAT in November, and it is now hoped it can be adopted by other abattoirs across the nation.

Gundagai Meat Processors CEO Will Barton reported the engineering meant the corporation could offer you producers a 50 cents a kilogram high quality for lambs with top IMF percentages.

A man in a white coat stands in front of rows of lamb carcases
Producers will be paid a quality for best IMF scores as it is a important part in having top quality.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

On average, 30 for every cent of the lambs they processed reached the top quality.

The business noticed this new technology as a way of supporting farmers to create a lot more substantial-high quality lambs.

“We want them to be worthwhile and the very best way to make them rewarding is to inform them exactly what it is that they’re sending us and what we are going to shell out extra for.”

A woman in a white coat and mask uses a probe machine on a hanging carcase.
The MEQ probe is applied on each carcase that passes through Gundagai Meat Processors to evaluate IMF.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Aim measurement to back again up high quality charges

Mr Barton said the MEQ technological innovation could also give buyers additional assurance when forking out for premium lamb.

“If we preserve demanding high selling prices but we don’t have any objective measure of whether it can be better or not, then we operate the chance of shoppers turning absent because they have experienced a variable working experience.

A woman in a green shirt stands in front of an abattoir.
Isabele Roberts from Ridgehaven Poll Dorsets, Cudal.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Isabele Roberts from Ridgehaven Poll Dorsets in Cudal, Central West NSW, sells near to 7,000 primary lambs a 12 months.

She explained the information and facts supplied by Gundagai Meat Processors was crucial to their breeding system.

“We can have an understanding of how our lambs are carrying out and we can make much better choices about creating much better kinds up coming 12 months,” Ms Roberts mentioned.

She mentioned feeding on high quality was just one particular section of the equation with farm manufacturing the important focus.

“We want lambs that are nutritious and sustainable, kinds that develop rapidly, and ones that actually can manage the problems,” she claimed.

‘Important breakthrough for lamb industry’

Technological know-how like the MEQ probe will also enable to underpin the incoming MSA taking in high-quality product.

The MSA system now exists in the beef field and close to half of the cattle slaughtered in Australia previous monetary yr ended up MSA graded.

It is hoped to be up and managing in the lamb marketplace by the stop of 2022.

Two cuts of lamb on a work bench in an abattoir, one is much thicker than the other.
Two cuts of lamb with distinct IMF values can glance distinctive.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Meat and Livestock Australia project manager for aim measurement Richard Applications said measuring intramuscular body fat was essential mainly because it would make a massive difference in the having high-quality grading.

Pigeonholing excellent?

Even so, not absolutely everyone in the meat sector has embraced the MSA grading system.

Canberra butcher Richard Odell reported it tried using to pigeonhole quality, a thing he considered could come down to personal preference and variations in the seasons.

“It truly is like shopping for a kettle in a store, do you want a purple a single or a blue 1, which 1 do you like?”