Life on the land in Australia


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THE poor returns beef and lamb producers have had to accept recently has prompted many to question whether domestic meat prices are too high.

I get to speak to a lot of people during the course of a normal week and when they find out that I’m involved in the livestock industry, most express dismay at the price of meat.

This is nothing new, of course, but last year’s lamb prices may have really alienated a large percentage of consumers.

It seems like yesterday that lamb was a staple Australian diet, but now it has gotten to a point where most prime lamb cuts have become a luxury item that families are enjoying at longer intervals.

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Beef sales seem to be suffering declines, although I believe – for different reasons – breed societies have done a superb job of promoting their cattle.

Despite their successes in building demand and value-adding their product, consumers – who are generally uneducated in the way of meat – tend to target, the fashionable breeds as a special treat instead of buying quality beef at reasonable prices more often.

The proliferation of television cooking program have strengthened the ideal that meat is a luxury item.

I’m not having a shot at any particular breed, but I’ve lost count of the number of times that a certain daytime cooking show has featured Wagyu steak.


The perception that it is something far superior to any steak from other breeds is hurting beef consumption in general.

I would like to see a blind-taste test of different breeds conducted on a prime time show and see if those gourmands, who set themselves up as experts, could find any discernible difference.

One good thing about lamb prices has been the return of cheaper cuts into the family diet.

Lamb shanks, flaps and necks have become essential budget meat for families, although demand has made prices for these cuts climb above what many consider to be cheap, especially considering that these cuts used to be discarded as nothing better than dog’s meat.

Everybody involved in the livestock industry knows that lamb prices have fallen dramatically.

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May 14th, 2012
Topic: Cattle, IMPORT EXPORT, PRICES, Sheep Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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