NBA urges multi-tiered approach to mince

Retailers and processors must become more innovative with forequarter cuts to balance out higher cattle prices, says the National Beef Association.

The NBA believes that further, supply-driven lifts in cattle price are inevitable at a time when consumer preferences are moving from expensive cuts like fillet steak to forequarter staples such as mince and stewing beef.

"Retailers and processors know its important to keep pace with recession-led shifts in demand, which have already raised the value of the forequarter from 30% of total carcase spread to around 40%," explained NBA director Kim Haywood.

"If consumers are chasing mince, which could soon account for 50% of beef that is sold to eat at home, and are also turning their back on high-priced traditional cuts like sirloin steaks and roasts, then the industry could make adjustments so that it can preserve its income."

According to the NBA, this would mean taking a revolutionary approach to mince by widening the price and quality ranges, perhaps even creating "supreme" beef burgers from sirloin or fillet.

"Producing mince has always been the ideal way to reduce waste by using a range of trimmings and then measuring product quality through the proportion of visual lean - or absence of fat," said Haywood.

"But if more is going to be sold, and more of it is going to include portions taken from higher-quality cuts, it is important that a multi-tiered approach is developed, so even more mince can be sold for more money. Processors and retailers cannot turn their back on this challenge."

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