Pillar 3

Pillar 3: Supply chain efficiency and integrity

Satisfied customers and industry partners working in collaboration are signs of a well-functioning value chain. The red meat and livestock industry strives to achieve this through Meat Standards Australia, which guarantees consumers a minimum eating quality in their red meat purchases, and also through integrity systems that underpin clean, safe, natural and traceability claims.

The red meat and livestock industry has an opportunity to enhance this win-win for customers and value chain partners through objective measurement technologies, information exchange and value-based pricing, where consumers pay the true value of the products they purchase and industry is able to increase the value of each carcase.


Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) 2020 priorities

Investments Investment source KPIs


  • MSA beef compliance rates rose 94.3%
  • $152 million in additional farm gate returns from MSA beef program
  • 95% of lambs following MSA pathways met MSA requirements
  • Animal welfare and biosecurity added to LPA program to enhance integrity systems
  • MSA celebrates 20 year anniversary
  • Eating Quality Graded cipher introduced as part of Australian Beef Language Review recommendations
  • 25.4 million NLIS cattle movements recorded by the NLIS database
  • 1,257 producers now have Livestock Data Link accounts

Optimising product quality and cost efficiency

Since its inception in 1998, the industry’s uptake of Meat Standards Australia (MSA) has helped lift the eating quality of red meat in the domestic market. The opportunity now exists to broaden the reach of MSA to export markets by providing marketers with a tool to sell Australian beef and lamb with eating quality claims.

This priority also works with individual supply chains to reduce the eating quality variation within a production run and segregate and extract higher premiums for product with higher eating quality. There is also opportunity to improve the value of the carcase through value-based pricing, underpinned by accurate and transparent objective measurements.

20 years of eating quality

MLA’s independent eating quality grading program, Meat Standards Australia (MSA), celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018.

The program continues to enjoy strong uptake throughout the supply chain with more than 53,000 Australian beef, sheep and mixed livestock producers now registered for MSA.

MSA metrics
  • 94.3% of MSA cattle and 95% of MSA lambs met program requirements
  • $152 million in additional farm gate returns
  • 16 additional MSA-licensed brands
  • 32% increase in producers using myMSA platform
Beef language enhanced

The red meat and livestock industry is moving forward with the adoption of an enhanced Australian beef language. Twelve of the 46 recommendations handed down by the Australian Beef Language Review in June 2016 have now been implemented and are delivering outcomes along the value chain. Another 27 recommendations are in progress.


MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards

MLA hosted the second MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards to raise awareness of MSA best management practice. Six state events were attended by 514 producers and the 51 finalists represented 202,680 MSA-graded cattle.

Guaranteeing product quality and systems integrity

Australian red meat is marketed as clean, safe and natural, underpinned by its disease-free status and advanced food safety and integrity systems. As our competitors build their own capabilities to deliver a similar product claim, it is essential for Australia to enhance our systems and technologies to keep ahead of our competitors and maintain our point of difference.

Raising the bar of our integrity systems also helps Australia capture price premiums from discerning consumers and customers who are willing to pay more for higher levels of product assurance.

LPA update

The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity.

Upgrades to the LPA program were rolled out from 1 October 2017, including the introduction of two new LPA elements, animal welfare and biosecurity, and a new LPA reaccreditation process.

eNVD update

The industry’s new electronic National Vendor Declaration (eNVD) system launched in August 2017 and is aimed at streamlining data transfer, reducing costs and improving information accuracy.

The eNVD system offers producers the ability to create other declarations alongside the NVD, including for MSA and the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme, as well as National Health Declarations.

Livestock Data Link

Two enhancements were made to MLA’s online carcase feedback resource, Livestock Data Link (LDL), to enhance information sharing in the red meat supply chain.

LDL, which is currently used by 1,257 producers, now provides a predictive lean meat yield measure for beef producers and processors on carcases that are MSA graded. Lean meat yield is the percentage of meat recovered from a carcase and is a key driver of profitability for beef producers, processors and retailers.


Integrity Systems Company

Integrity Systems Company (ISC) is a fully-owned subsidiary of MLA and aims to grow red meat value chain opportunities through integrity and information systems innovation.

Since its launch in 2016–17, Integrity Systems Company has provided a streamlined, efficient management structure for the delivery of the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program, National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) and the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).