The Australian Government is to change the Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders that will allow a small expansion to the definition from 1 July. The revised definition of lamb in the Australian meat language allows for the “eruption of permanent incisors”, as long as they remain not in wear.
AMIC said the proposed change to the lamb definition would also bring Australia into line with its biggest competitor, New Zealand.
Hutchinson said this was a win for all participants in the lamb production supply chain and he praised the minister for agriculture and water resources David Littleproud, as well as AMIC and Sheep Producers Australia for the move.
“Australian lamb producers will now have a clear physical signal to inform their selling decision. This, in turn, will create markets for unfinished lambs that buyers might previously have had reservations about, for fear of the lambs crossing the threshold to hogget,” Hutchinson said.
He added that Australian processors would also have access to lambs at the crossover period between new-season lambs and those from the previous season.
“What this update delivers is confidence that producers are able to finish those lambs to a better quality without concern that they will miss the lamb specification. This added layer of clarity is excellent news for processors and producers, and it is good news for retailers and consumers, too.”
AMIC recently called on the Federal Government to give financial support to the red meat industry after it suffered long periods of drought and flood.
The call from Hutchinson came after the South Australian Government pledged AU$7.5m to support its local red meat industry
AMIC is the peak council representing retailers, processors and small goods manufacturers and is the only industry association representing the post-farmgate Australian meat industry.