Sheep research boosts Aussie profits

GLOBAL SHEEP RI Farm
RESEARCH: Aussie sheep research adds 170.5 million to bottom line. CSIRO PICTURE: Carl Davies

AUSTRALIAN sheep producers are A$317 million (£170.5 million) better off as a result of 19 years of research by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC).

In compiling its final reports to the federal government industry before it closes its doors on June 30, the Sheep

CRC meat programme estimated its net present value bene-fit based on the current rate of adoption of technologies driving improvements in meat eating quality and value, and the impact they will have on productivity 2015-2029.

The study measured the benefits accruing to industry from: the development of a cuts-based Meat Standards Australia grading system for measuring saleable meat yield and eating quality, and providing enhanced feedback to producers; new processing technologies to assist in meeting consumer expectations; and genetic technologies to assist breeders deliver higher quality lamb.

Sheep CRC meat programme leader Dave Pethick of Murdoch University says the estimates show an overall cost:benefit ratio of 1:4½.

“By improving customer satisfaction and driving demand, these technologies have together delivered an increase in the price paid to producers of 20c/kg (10.75p) and a benefit to processors of 50c/kg (26.9p) – or an additional A$15.40 (£8.28) a carcase,” Pethick says.

The economic analysis factored in a cost of A$70 million (£37.6 million) for the research, development and commercialisation of the technology, including A$40 million (£21.5 million) in foundational research conducted in the previous terms of the Sheep CRC from 2001-2014.

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