Thursday, October 22, 2009

QUEENSLAND COUNTRY LIFE: TIME TO ENTRENCH MSA'S GRADING MODEL

We welcome support from QCL which has endorsed a grading system 'describing all beef descriptions from end to end'. Torbay's draft grading model embraces MSA and has been designed to encourage continued increased uptake of MSA grading by processors.

As the QCL editorial points out the problem is the 'lack of product descriptors between existing MSA grades and the budget beef end'

The challenge facing industry is how to fill the gap and grade the product in the middle so consumers know the quality of the beef they are purchasing before they make their decision to buy. Currently consumers are being asked to enter into a lucky dip - they get a good steak one week and a tough and tasteless steak the next, vote with their wallets and don't come back for repeat purchases.

Only 12,500 cattle properties out of approximately 160,000 cattle properties in Australia are MSA accredited and as David Thomason from MLA points out cattle from Northern QLD, the Channel Country, the Northern Territory and cattle sold through saleyards will often eat very well but can't be MSA graded because of MSA's 24 hour transport and saleyard rules.

A system has to be worked out to grade the beef that is not eligible to be MSA graded.

The Peak Councils need to work constructively with the politicians to achieve this.

Read the full article HERE

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