PAYMENT for livestock based on the value of meat cuts, measured objectively, holds the key to the integrity of red meat products and Australia's competitiveness in the global market and therefore future prosperity in the cattle and sheep production game.
This is the thinking behind the push for value based marketing (VBM) which has strong support from both the production and processing sector.
It is a topic discussed at length in Rare Vision, a liftout to be published in Australian Community Media agricultural publications next Thursday which takes a look at what has played out in the red meat sector during 2019 and what is just around the corner.
Red meat research bodies report large programs of work are underway on technology and methods that allow for objectively measuring quality and yield both on and off farm to drive VBM.
These include camera technologies for chiller assessments and technical devices to measure intramuscular fat.
The much-discussed dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA, technology is already measuring lean meat yield in sheep commercially.
Meat & Livestock Australia's general manager of producer consultation and adoption Michael Crowley said the research was creating the opportunity for industry to move down the VBM path.
In many cases the technology was now at the stage where commercial buy-in was the next step, he said.
Big processing company, Teys Australia, is a leader in the work to build VBM into the red meat industry.
Teys' vision hinged on being able to communicate to the people who grow the animals what the value is to the people Teys sells to, general manager corporate services Tom Maguire said.
"Going to customers to offer a product that meets specific demands 52 weeks a year won't work if you then go back to try to buy those cattle, but you haven't told the producer what you need," he said.
"It is inherent on those further along the supply chain to give feedback that tells producers exactly what the best market is for their animals.
"VBM is the process we are trying to move towards and you'll hear a lot more on it from us in the next 12 months as our industry moves from a commodity based one to giving customers what they want."