Meat Standards Australia seeking new manager

Posted by Kate Carey on 24th September 2012

Meat Standards Australia is seeking a new manager to oversee the research, development and the integrity of the red meat industry’s self-regulatory standards for production, processing and marketing.

Meat and Livestock Australia Limited are responsible for marketing and research activities for the Australian red meat industries, which includes the Meat Standards Australia national grading system.

Founded in 1996, the MSA grading system involves all sectors of the supply chain to regulate the quality of meat, based on regulated consumer expectations. However, the major supermarket groups have not always focused their marketing around the MSA grading system.

As reported in Australian Food News in January 2012, Woolworths have generally been quite supportive of the regulations.

 “Woolworths sells more Australian beef than any other retailer. The introduction of this grading system offers our customers an independent endorsement of the quality of the beef,” General Manager of Woolworths Fresh Food, Patt McEntee said in January this year.

At the same time, Coles General Manager of meat, Allister Watson agreed that the MSA was vital for quality assurance.

“The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading system shows that meat quality is significantly better without the use of Human Growth Promotants,”  Mr Watson said.

However, Coles was also criticized by the Australian red meat industry when it led its ‘hormone free’ beef marketing campaign.

“[The MSA Manager] position will play a major role in guaranteeing the ongoing sustainability and integrity of the programs, while ensuring the MSA program meets the commercial and integrity demands of all industry stakeholders.”

Responsible for delivering increased adoption, awareness and integrity of the MSA programs for cattle and sheep, the role will require someone who is not only technically proficient, but also commercially savvy.

 The position comes at a time of growth for the 15 Billion dollar Australian red meat industry. The National Australia Bank Agribusiness division has announced that Australia’s beef production is set to expand by 2.5 percent in 2012.