August 5, 2012
The Western Australian Beef Council, Department of Agriculture and Food and Meat and Livestock Australia are working together to deliver a program aimed at testing new market opportunities for the State’s beef industry. The three-year Beef Supply Chain Program will include trialling new product lines for the northern and southern beef sectors. The program aims to address continuity of supply challenges for the $600 million WA beef industry linked to the State’s seasonal conditions, and ultimately grow market options for cattle producers. Two market opportunities to be investigated include: – An integrated northern pastoral and southern WA finished product line and supply chain. This will involve linking northern pastoralists with southern lot feeders and processors to produce a product which meets MSA requirements. – A high quality 100-day grain-fed beef product, which could ultimately suit the high value European Union market. The projects will work with willing beef supply chain participants to build capacity, capability and confidence in first proving and then delivering sustainable supply of product for these new markets. The development of tools to measure supply chain capacity building and business model innovation will also form part of the new program. WA Beef Council chairman Tony Hiscock said the program was a practical extension of investigations into market opportunities as part of the Council’s Beef Value Optimisation Program. “Both market opportunities will initially target improving processor confidence in consistency of supply and product quality, which may then lead to market diversification,’’ Mr Hiscock said. “Pathways will be developed to achieve required changes to capacity and capability, resulting in commercial trials for each market.” Department Livestock Industries executive director Kevin Chennell said development of export options was a focus of the program. About three quarters of beef processed in WA last financial year was for domestic consumption. “These pilot production lines will be small scale but will, in essence, provide a litmus test for whether these market options are something that can be developed commercially and more broadly for the WA beef industry,” he said. “We are aiming to have these pilot production lines operating in 2013.” Meat and Livestock Australia spokesperson Christine Pitt said MLA was pleased to support innovation in the WA beef supply chain. “This new partnership will enable targeted projects to leverage maximum impact for the WA industry,” she said.