Beef producers from the New England region of New South Wales have taken out the top awards at the 2017 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards for the State, presented at Tamworth.
The Awards recognise producers who have achieved outstanding compliance rates to MSA specifications, as well as high eating quality, as represented by MSA Index results for beef carcases graded during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.
Jason and Ann Lewis, Jac Wagyu, Bingara, were awarded the Most Outstanding Beef Producer award for the State. This award was open to any production system, with the exclusion of accredited grainfed beef.
Rangers Valley feedlot, based near Glen Innes, and owned by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, was awarded Most Outstanding Beef Producer – Grainfed.
Cattle from feedlots accredited under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) and that met the Australian Grainfed Standards were included in this category.
Central West beef producers, Angus and Lesley Tink, Tarawong, Mebul, won the inaugural MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Progress Award for New South Wales for showing the greatest improvement in their MSA results since the 2014-15 financial year.
MSA Program Manager Sarah Strachan said producers were to be congratulated for their commitment to produce beef that consistently achieves exceptional compliance rates to MSA’s strict specifications.
“To help with continuously improving eating quality, MSA-registered producers are provided with ongoing feedback on their livestock, accessible through myMSA, which now offers producers the ability to benchmark their performance against other producers in the state as well,” Ms Strachan said.
“These producers are showing they are taking notice of that information to achieve results.
“Jac Wagyu won their title from a field comprising 5,118 registered producers in New South Wales who consigned cattle during 2015-17.
“During 2015-17, 51% of all cattle consigned to MSA from NSW were grainfed. Rangers Valley won the title from a field comprising almost 100 registered producers in New South Wales who consigned grainfed cattle during 2015-17.
“Throughout Australia, more than 14,000 producers consigned almost 5.9 million cattle to the MSA program during 2015-17.”
To be eligible for the awards, a producer’s annual MSA-graded volume had to be equal to or above the average volume consigned for the state in which they were produced.
Each producer that met the eligibility criteria received a score out of 100 weighted on two factors – the compliance to MSA minimum requirements, and eating quality performance as determined by the MSA Index for cattle consigned to MSA in 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.
The Awards aim to raise awareness of best management practice from producers who consistently deliver superior eating quality beef in their state ultimately for the benefit of consumers and for the profitability of the industry.
MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve beef eating quality consistency. The system is based on over 700,000 consumer taste tests by over 100,000 consumers from nine countries and takes into account all factors that affect the eating quality from the paddock to the plate.