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Update from MSA

25 July 2022

Welcome to another edition of Making the Grade, Meat Standards Australia’s (MSA) newsletter for all things beef and sheepmeat eating quality. In this edition we recap the latest MSA Excellence in Eating Quality (EEQ) Awards, take a look at what's new in eating quality research and development, dive into MLA’s Objective Measurement (OM) program and much more.

EEQ Series a success

It has been a busy start to 2022 with the MSA Excellence in Eating Quality (EEQ) Series taking place in March and April after the events were initially postponed in  September 2021. Nearly 500 producers attended the awards, which were held across the nation in locations including:

  • Armidale, NSW
  • Roma, Queensland
  • Wodonga, VIC
  • Launceston, TAS
  • Robe, SA
  • Bunbury, WA.

The events were centred around the theme of ‘growing and grading the greatest meat on earth’ and included a series of presentations and panel discussions including guest speakers from processors, brand owners, livestock consultants and producers.

An awards ceremony recognizing the leading MSA producers within the state in the 2019–21 financial years was also held at each event. View the EEQ award winners for Queensland, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, NT and WA.

More R&D resumes

The easing in restrictions has meant a number of Research and Development (R&D) projects delayed due to COVID-19 have been able to resume. These include further progress in eating quality projects for Wagyu cattle, saleyard pathways, entire males, dairy beef and veal – some of which will be completed soon.

Working with processors and brand owners

The MSA Business Development team have continued to work closely with processors and brand owners to extract further value from MSA-graded carcases through the MSA program. This includes supporting brand owners internationally in collaboration with MLA’s regional offices to provide training and build confidence in Australia’s unique eating quality program on an international stage.

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face activity has resumed with 31 workshops and training with processors, independent boning rooms and end users held alongside continued online training with end users and brand owners operating in international markets.

In collaboration with the MLA marketing team, workshops have also been conducted with large food service companies to demonstrate how MSA-graded red meat can ensure consistency and customer satisfaction. This has resulted in at least one company now putting MSA-graded beef meat on their menus, equating to 800 tonnes of red meat per year.          

Using the myMSA portal

The MSA team would also like to encourage producers to use the myMSA portal to access their MSA grading results.

The portal was refreshed in 2021 to make it easier for producers to interpret grading feedback, as well as benchmark their current performance to their state or region. It also includes other features such as the Opportunity Index, which displays what the MSA Index would have been if non-compliant cattle had met MSA minimum requirements.

Coming soon

Keep an eye out for the MSA Annual Outcomes Report to be released in late August. The Report will outline the program outcomes and statistics of the MSA program for the  2021–22 financial year, as well as provide updates on supply chain engagement activities and R&D projects underway.