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      Posted by Bronwyn Foster-Jones on in Food Inspection
      Sheep meat technology

      How the Sheep Meat Industry Can Use Technology to Get Ready for the New UK Trade Deal

      In June 2021, Australia and the UK struck a momentous trade deal that will have huge benefits to those in the agricultural and food processing industries. Once the trade deal is set, beef, lamb, rice, sugar and wine producers are all set to benefit and there’ll be particular focus on new agricultural and farming  technologies, such as the MEQ Probe and the very latest meat processing plant equipment


      How important is new technology to the sheep meat industry?

      Once the trade deal gets underway, Australian lamb will enter the UK under a tariff rate quota system. Tariffs will drop over the coming years and eventually 99% of Australian goods will enter the UK duty free. This will be beneficial long-term for all in the sheep meat processing sector. It will give Australian producers the opportunity to compete against fierce international competition in the UK market, such as China, New Zealand and Turkey.

      So, it’s more important than ever for the Australian sheep meat industry to embrace new thinking and new technology in order to thrive in this competitive market. 

      Only by evolving can the industry prove that Australian lamb offers the most consistent quality of product, and ultimately, the most stellar eating experience for the end consumer. From food processing equipment to industrial cleaning equipment, there are new technologies arising each day to benefit the sheep meat industry by improving safety, efficiency and meat quality. 

      What new technology is available to the sheep meat industry? 

      With so many new technologies emerging, it’s easy to miss some of the newer pieces of equipment that have entered the market such as, the MEQ Probe. 

      The MEQ Probe was built to assist with the assessment of things like Intramuscular Fat (IMF) or marbling in hot carcasses and meat yield weight.  

      Measuring Intramuscular Fat 

      Intramuscular Fat (IMF) or marbling is the global standard by which we judge the eating quality of red meat. Marbling has always been an important measurement when it comes to beef quality and we are excited to see Meat Standard Australia will soon incorporate IMF as a standard measurement for lamb as well.

      The ability to measure Intramuscular Fat (IMF) or marbling in hot carcasses is now available thanks to the innovative MEQ Probe

      The MEQ Probe uses spectral analysis to measure the IMF of lamb and provides accurate measurements for quality, making it easy to sell the meat into the most suitable market.

      World’s first lamb grid

      MEQ Probe’s technology has been integral to the recent development of GMP’s world’s first lamb grid, which pays producers on a lean meat yield, weight, and intramuscular fat basis, with feedback on animal health at an individual carcass level. GMP even offers farmers a premium for their herds if their IMF numbers are high.

      The grid represents a first step in embracing new technology to push the sector further and ensures solid, transparent working relationships between Australian producers and processors who can work in tandem to bring up IMF measurement in herds and be competitive on a global scale in terms of price and quality. 

      How does new technology impact the industry?

      The wider incorporation of IMF as a standard industry measurement will add a vein of consistency throughout Australia’s product and help to promote it as the best lamb in the world.

      We have seen before how the incorporation of new technology can lift our industry standards, including with the Eagle X-Ray Dual Energy and the AmTek Microwave processing plant equipment. Both these technologies have been essential in ensuring safety and speed on the production line by saving time, increasing precision and eliminating waste.

      It is time for the sheep meat industry to fully embrace new quality control technologies as Australia prepares to dominate the global market.

      If you are curious to know more about the MEQ Probe and get your business ready for the incoming trade agreements, contact our friendly team today. 

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