Efficiency the key to China, Middle East markets

STAFF REPORTERThe West Australian

Producers need to "improve their end product" to take advantage of growing export opportunities in China, India and the Middle East, according to a Nuffield scholar,

Kelly Manton-Pearce said her Nuffield study tour showed a future need for sheepmeat in those countries.

"These markets represent significant export opportunities for Australian lamb and sheepmeat," Dr Manton-Pearce said. "We need to use these markets as a way of value adding to our sheepmeat or lamb produce.

"Producers should encourage processors to look for tools and technologies that give a more accurate assessment of carcase quality so we can improve the end product."

Dr Manton-Pearce said to further capitalise on the growing demand, better communication was needed to determine what the markets are demanding.

In Merredin yesterday, the Yealering sheep producer told a Department of Agriculture and Food sheep update that ongoing access to information about prices, trends and quality standards were essential to improve efficiency on the farm and in the market place.

"We require an ongoing approach to reposition lamb as a versatile, value for money, everyday healthy alternative both in domestic markets and for our export markets," she said.

Local agribusinesses also contributed to the Merredin meeting.

Regional sheep updates will be held in Wickepin, Kojonup tomorrow and Esperance on Friday.

Supporting producer groups involved include Facey Group, Southern DIRT and ASHEEP.

Department sheep leader Steve Gherardi said there had been strong producer and agribusiness interest in the updates.

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