THIRTY beef processors have now put their hand up to take on the objective carcase measurement technology DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) and are nutting out the finer points of return-on-investment.
DEXA has been the first cab off the rank for an industry taskforce set up in July to oversee OCM adoption and commercialisation, which is currently running a budget review involving expressions of interests from processors keen to adopt.
DEXA scientifically measures meat, fat and bone in a carcase and has been promoted as a big leap towards value based marketing, customer-driven supply chains and, of course, processor efficiencies.
The taskforce, chaired by experienced processing sector executive Gary Burridge, includes a representative from each peak industry council, processors, a representative from Meat and Livestock Australia, the Australian Meat Processing Corporation and DEXA expert Professor Graham Gardner from Murdoch University.
Mr Burridge said the 30 companies who had expressed interest represented a broad spectrum of the processing sector and geographic diversity.
That response was in line with expectations, he said.
An engineering report to determine, on a plant-by-plant basis, just how much DEXA implementation will cost is expected to be ready by next autumn.
“At this stage, it is purely a budgetary exercise and progress will come down to commercial return on the investment and what funding models are available,” Mr Burridge said.
Three DEXA units are already well into commercial establishment, with big processor Teys expected to conclude installation by next March and be providing meaningful data by mid-2018.
Mr Burridge said the taskforce had a number of projects in relation to DEXA running concurrently with the budget exercise.
They aimed to look at where feedback to producers fits in, issues around calibration and an audit protocol.
Mr Burridge said there were also other emerging OCM technologies showing promise, including around eating quality aspects, but they were mostly on the three-to-five year horizon.