Processors claim the value of by-products is factored in to over the hooks prices. Of course this is expected. However what surprised me was CCA being quoted as saying that they agree that the by-products are built into the price that producers receive for over hooks trading
As the producers’ peak organisation, I am astounded at how CCA can make this claim. Do they know exactly what margins the processors have built-in for the value of carcass plus by-products? Obviously they do! If they can explain this, I’m sure a lot of people would be interested to see the equation explained.
Company based graders are trained by AusMeats and audited by AusMeats and as the article says AusMeats is owned jointly by the processors and the MLA.
Could it be possible that audits are well-planned and are a very orderly affair, as processors are informed well in advance?
It would be a brave person to say that the trim and other things do not vary from plant to plant.
You should also remember that the rules governing trim and what a company can take are down to a committee of AusMeats. The make-up of the committee is something like this: 3 processors, 1 feedlot (could be a processor), 1 supermarket, 1 one sheep producer, 1 pork producer, 1 government representative and 1 beef producer.
Furthermore, why do lamb producers when selling over the hooks retain ownership of the skin? Why don’t beef producers retain ownership of the hide?
The interesting point to me is that the beef producer has the most to lose or gain on the Language Standards Committee but has less representation than any other part of the industry.
Processors claim company graders came in 1990 as an alternative. The cost was simply prohibitive in employing independent graders. To give credit to the CCA they say giving away independent graders was a mistake.
Independent graders would remove a lot of arguments. Ross Keane said that if producers want independent graders in processing works that they would have to pay for it. But, why should it cost more? There would be no additional costs than already paid by processors to employ a grader.
Surely the time has come when we should sit down as mature people and find out how we can get independent graders in our works.