Producer profitability & animal welfare at centre of Feedback Loop

Producer profitability & animal welfare at centre of Feedback Loop
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Yorkman

OBE Organic is aiming to improve producer productivity and animal health and welfare outcomes after co-investing with the MLA Donor Company to create a slaughter data Feedback Loop.

The 12 month project will utilise existing data collected by processors to assess the extent and cost of carcase downgrades caused by parasites, disease or husbandry.

As part of the project, OBE – Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company – has engaged Dr Sarah-Jane Wilson, one of Australia’s leading farm biosecurity veterinarians, to conduct this assessment.

OBE will then revise its feedback sheets to more clearly communicate this information to producers, and Dr Wilson will work directly with OBE producers to help them understand if simple practice changes could make a difference to their enterprise.

“Lots of data is being collected at slaughter that can tell producers how they are performing, but it’s not really being used well by industry,” said OBE Organic General Manager Dalene Wray.

“The OBE Organic Feedback Loop aims to use this existing information in a smarter way, so producers can more clearly see if simple changes to husbandry or nutrition can make a difference.

“Reducing carcase damage and downgrades could reduce waste in the supply chain, improve grazier productivity by reducing diseases and parasites, and improve cattle health and welfare. It’s potentially a real win-win for everyone.”

Dr Sarah-Jane Wilson said organic livestock production poses unique management challenges, and this project is a first for utilising data that is already being collected on organic livestock through processing to tailor management solutions.

“Providing feedback will enable better biosecurity and animal health planning and ultimately provide financial gains through reduction in avoidable losses,” she said.

“OBE has been instrumental in finding opportunities to provide better outcomes for their organic producers to enhance productivity and maintain sustainability.”

The results of the OBE Organic Feedback Loop will be shared with the industry at the end of the project, and regular updates provided on OBE Organic’s social media platforms, the company said.