NEW ground is being broken in developing a cuts-based grading model for the lamb industry that will pave the way for greater value generation through segregation of cuts based on quality.
The beef Meat Standards Australia program led to dramatic improvements in consumer satisfaction and how processors and brand owners market their products.
The same benefits are set to come to the lamb industry through the commercialisation of the MSA sheepmeat cuts-based model, according to MSA program manager David Packer.
“At the moment the majority of lamb being processed is all going into the same box because there is no system to identify and differentiate lamb on eating quality, enabling it to be marketed at different price points,” Dr Packer said.
“If we take the beef industry as an example, in the 1990s prior to the MSA program there was significant variation in eating quality and consumer satisfaction was dwindling. Through the industry-wide adoption of the MSA beef program, consistency in eating quality improved markedly, enabling MSA to capture greater value through underpinning consistency for nearly 200 beef brands.”
Dr Packer said a pathways MSA system for lamb had been in place for about a decade, which focussed on critical control points, such as ensuring lambs were finished to target specifications (fat score over 2 and GR fat greater than 6mm) and on using interventions such as electrical stimulation.