AN additional option for tapping into one of the more lucrative beef markets, high-quality grain-fed, has been created via a new standard in the industry’s trade description language.
Cattle fed grain for 35 days before sale or export can now be marketed as Grain Fed Finished, paving the way for premiums in line with other grain-fed standards.
GFF will accompany two existing standards, Grain Fed, which takes in cattle fed for 80 of the past 100 days, and Grain Fed Young Beef which requires cattle be on grain 50 of the past 60 days for females and 70 for males.
The move has been in the pipeline for close to two years, driven by peak feedlotting organisation the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association.
ALFA president Bryce Camm said it increased the flexibility around producing certified grain-fed beef.
It was driven by what markets were demanding and by progressive brand owners responding to that, he said.
However, a lot of consulting with industry was required to ensure integrities in Australia’s grain-fed product were maintained, he said.
“The inclusion of the standard into Australia’s Export Control Act and Orders means exporters and brand owners can freely label beef that meets the new standard as Grain Fed Finished,” Mr Camm said.
“It will simplify the current interim process whereby exporters were asked to go through an application process to be able to describe and label product that meets the standard.”
The GFF standard requires cattle to be produced within a feedlot accredited under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme production system, be raised on a specific high energy ration for a minimum 35 days on feed and successfully meet Meat Standards Australia grading requirements when processed.
“Being included in legislation provides integrity to the labelling of Grain Fed Finished beef for export customers and gives confidence to beef processors and brand owners to develop and invest in brands that meet the GFF standard,” Mr Camm said.
That in itself is expected to open more doors for producers.
In announcing the move, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud pointed to science as determining 35 days on grain produces the fat colour attribute associated with grain-fed beef.
Australians refuse to compromise on quality, he said.
“Until the regulation passes Parliament, feedlot operators and brand owners can get permission to use the ‘Grain Fed Finished’ label by getting an exemption from current Export Control Meat and Meat Products Orders 2005,” he explained.
Exemptions to use GFF are available now by contacting the Department of Agriculture on 02 62723059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The story New grain-fed standard to open lucrative beef doors first appeared on Farm Online.