The European market opened up to Australian beef in 2010 and since then the international market has experienced a steady demand for Australian European Union (EU) certified beef. Their demand for Australian beef is projected to continue to increase. (MLA)
So, what does it take for Australian beef producers to become EU accredited, and what is so good about Australian EU beef?
For Australian beef to be supplied to the EU market it must first be free of any HGP’s. HGP’s are hormone growth promotants, which are used by some producers to promote muscle growth.
Under the European Union Cattle Accreditation Scheme (EUCAS), EU cattle must have never been treated with HGP’s in their lifetime.
The Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA) defines HGP’s as implants of naturally occurring hormones. Their purpose is to improve cattle’s growth rates, feed efficiency and carcass leanness. HGP’s may be used by producers depending on the market requirements. At Princess Royal, we are proud to say that we do not use any HGP’s.
In addition to this, EU cattle must have lifetime traceability.
This means that all cattle destined for the EU market must be able to trace every beast’s property history from birth. Producers are able to achieve lifetime traceability through the use of Vendor Declarations, Property Identification Codes, RFID tags and the National Livestock Accreditation Scheme.
RFID tags are small electronic tags that produce a small radio frequency which can then be read by scanning devices. Property identification codes are used to identify the livestock’s history. When livestock are sold from one property to another, they must be transferred over to the new property using the National Livestock Identification Scheme system to keep their lifetime traceability status.
Vendor Declarations are official documents that travel with the livestock from their origin property to their destination. They provide all of the information about the livestock that the buyer will need to know in order to transfer the livestock properly.
Suppliers of EU certified beef must be accredited, this includes the entire EU supply chain, including livestock agents, sales yards and processors.
In addition to being EU Certified, Princess Royal Feedlot is also accredited to supply European Union Grain Fed High-Quality Beef (EU GF-HQB) eligible livestock. This certifies that our facility has the ability to produce beef that goes beyond the Aus-Meat Minimum Standards for Grain Fed Beef and the general requirements of NFAS accreditation and the EUCAS.
The EU GF-HQB market requirements include strict guidelines on livestock identification and feeding requirements. To find out more about the Princess Royal Feedlot, click here