Meat & Livestock News

Victoria’s Top Beef Producers Honoured in 2023 MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards

Cutting meat in slaughterhouse .

Victoria’s beef industry celebrated its finest producers at the 2023 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards, hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). The awards recognised producers who consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality, as determined by the MSA program’s rigorous standards.

The MSA Program: A Benchmark for Quality

The MSA program, a benchmark for beef quality, is based on extensive consumer taste tests involving more than 1.7 million samples from over 250,000 consumers across 13 countries. It evaluates numerous factors affecting beef quality from the farm to the dinner table.

Spotlight on the Beechers: Excellence in Non-Grain-fed Beef Production

Among the notable winners were Gippsland beef producers Neville and Karen Beecher. Running a mix of Angus, Hereford, and Angus-Hereford cross cattle on their Churchill farm, the Beechers won the Most Outstanding Band 1 (larger non-grainfed) MSA Producer in Victoria.

Since joining the MSA as registered producers in 2017, they have achieved an impressive average MSA compliance of 99.7% and an average MSA Index of 63.51 for the period 2021–23.

From Sideline to Award-Winning Production

The Beechers’ journey to becoming award-winning MSA beef producers began as an adjunct to their agricultural contracting business, which includes producing silage and pasture hay and providing cultivation services. Initially running about 200 head mainly for fodder management, they seized an opportunity five years ago to expand their herd to over 1,000 head.

Commitment to Quality and Sustainability

The Beechers are participants in the Greenham Never Ever Beef Program, which ensures that cattle are grass-fed, MSA-certified, and free from hormone growth promotants (HGPs), antibiotics, and Genetically Modified Organisms. Their close proximity to Greenham allows them to selectively process only the best of their cattle.

Feeding Regime: Key to High MSA Compliance

The Beechers attribute their high rates of MSA compliance to their feeding regime, maintaining quality feed throughout the year. They regularly review their MSA feedback through the my MSA platform, focusing on continuous improvement.

MSA Program Manager’s Perspective

David Packer, MSA Program Manager, highlighted the significance of the awards in recognising the achievements of beef producers in Victoria. He noted that the MSA program, now in its 25th year, has become a world-leading eating quality grade program for Australian beef, driving the quality of the product nationally.

2023’s Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producers

This year’s Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer for the Feedlot category in Victoria was awarded to RM Gillett & Co Pty Ltd, based in Anakie.

In conclusion, the 2023 MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards not only celebrate the achievements of Victoria’s top beef producers but also underscore the importance of quality, sustainability, and consumer satisfaction in the Australian beef industry.