SOUTH Australian sheep and lamb producers are embracing eating quality program Meat Standards Australia, with SA having a higher proportion of its lamb slaughter graded than any other state in 2017-18.
According to the latest data from MSA’s annual outcomes report, 56 per cent of those processed in SA followed the MSA pathway, compared with 33pc in Vic and WA and 17pc in NSW.
Nationwide 6.1 million sheep went through MSA and more than 3.1m cattle were MSA graded, representing 43pc of the national cattle slaughter.
The report states the MSA program has delivered $152m in estimated additional farmgate returns in the past financial year, with a 21 cent a kilogram premium for MSA compliant young grassfed cattle across all categories over the hook, compared with non-MSA cattle.
MSA program manager Sarah Strachan says MSA continues to go from strength to strength with more than 50,000 registered producers and 53 MSA processors.
“This year marks 20 years since this world-leading eating quality program was released to industry, and adoption rates continue to rise, with more than 5000 new cattle and/or sheep producers becoming registered to supply livestock through the MSA program in the past financial year,” she said.
She said SA beef producers should be commended for their lift in MSA compliance from 91.4pc to 92.2pc of the 180,690 head processed.
Looking towards 2020, Ms Strachan said MSA had its sights set firmly on ensuring all cattle in Australia would be eligible for MSA grading and have their eating quality accurately described.
“The goal is for more than 50pc of the national cattle slaughter and 43pc of the lamb slaughter being MSA graded,” she said.