Automation funding

By Country News

Australia’s red meat industry is set to benefit from the establishment of the world’s first beef boning automation research and development room, as the industry looks to reduce processing costs and increase boning room yield efficiency.

MLA Donor Company will invest up to $32.4million over five years to enable Meat & Livestock Australia — in collaboration with beef processor Teys Australia and solution providers — to develop beef boning automation technology.

The program will not utilise any producer or processor levies, with Teys Australia co-funding the beef boning automation R&D room at its facility in Rockhampton in Queensland, with matching R&D contributions to come from the Federal Government.

MLA managing director Jason Strong said with Australia reportedly having one of the world’s most expensive processing sectors, automating beef boning would reduce per head operating costs for the benefit of the entire Australian industry.

‘‘Maximising the value of carcases through accurate cutting along with the increase in productivity through continuous flow in the boning room is vital to the sustainability of the Australian red meat industry,’’ Mr Strong said.

‘‘Beyond movement in livestock prices, the single biggest impact on processing efficiency is the accurate segmentation and deboning of carcases into the highest primal value possible.

‘‘It’s where the most significant improvements in processing industry efficiency can be made.

‘‘Beef boning automation has been estimated to deliver at least a $30 per head benefit, with an estimated 40 per cent of this benefit to return to producers.’’