Lamb or mut­ton a mat­ter of wear

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT -

CHANGES to the def­i­ni­tion of lamb in Aus­tralia are now open for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

Cur­rently, lamb is de­fined as hav­ing “zero per­ma­nent in­cisor teeth”, while the new def­i­ni­tion would al­low pro­duc­ers to sell an­i­mals with­out any per­ma­nent in­cisors “in wear” as lamb.

The Sheep­meat Coun­cil of Aus­tralia is call­ing for feed­back on pro­posed changes.

SCA mar­ket­ing, mar­ket ac­cess and trade pol­icy com­mit­tee chair­man John Wal­lace, of Western Aus­tralia, said Aus­tralia’s sheep meat and lamb in­dus­try had hit its stride and dou­bled in size in the past decade.

“But a stick­ing point that has been a con­stant is a lamb def­i­ni­tion that cre­ates a price cliff,” he said.

“The cur­rent def­i­ni­tion means that as soon as erup­tion is ev­i­dent, the an­i­mal be­comes classed as mut­ton, and re­sults in a lower price.

“The pro­posed change in def­i­ni­tion pro­vides a sig­nal to pro­duc­ers, by al­low­ing the erup­tion of per­ma­nent in­cisors, but with­out ei­ther in­cisor be­ing in wear.”

Vic­to­rian pro­ducer and SCA di­rec­tor Mick Craig said the in­dus­try needed to be on the same page about the lamb def­i­ni­tion to “guar­an­tee that we can move to a fit-for-pur­pose sheep­meat and live­stock lan­guage”.

“Hav­ing the right lan­guage across all pro­duc­tion sys­tems through to the trade and con­sumer en­vi­ron­ment is cru­cial to en­sur­ing pro­duc­ers get paid for the at­tributes that con­sumers value most,” Mr Craig said.

Aus­tralian Meat In­dus­try Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Pa­trick Hutchinson said the pro­posed change ad­dressed the sharp re­duc­tion in prices of­fered by pro­ces­sors for mut­ton com­pared with prices for lamb.

“[In re­gards to eat­ing qual­ity] re­search has shown that there is no no­tice­able dif­fer­ence between the time im­me­di­ately prior to per­ma­nent in­cisor erup­tion and im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards,” he said.

He added that the in­tegrity of Aus­tralian lamb as a high qual­ity prod­uct the world over must be as­sured un­der any change in the def­i­ni­tion.

Con­sul­ta­tion is open un­til Novem­ber 29. De­tails are at www.sheep­meat­coun­cil. com. au/lamb-def­i­ni­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.