For award-winning Western Australian butcher Greg Ryan, the Meat Standards Australia program is critical to guaranteeing the beef for his retail, wholesale and foodservice customers is a consistently quality product, regardless of cut.
With business partner Karl Osterberg, Greg owns and operates Ryan's Quality Meats (RQM), a second-generation family-run business originally founded by his father, Denis.
Mr Ryan works directly with WA beef producer and brand owner, Paul O'Meehan, from Butterfield Beef, as well as processor V&V Walsh to supply beef for Ryan's Quality Meats, which allows RQM to follow the cattle the whole way through the supply chain.
Butterfield Beef is underpinned by the MSA program, turning off grass-reared, grain-finished Angus and Angus-cross cattle for the premium beef brand, Stirling Ranges Beef.
RQM is the sole wholesale distributor of Stirling Ranges Beef in Australia, supplying customers from its two locations at Jandakot in the Perth metropolitan area and in Bunbury.
Mr Ryan said working closely with Butterfield and their processor, and examining MSA data was key to achieving the right carcase specifications to supply a uniquely WA experience to the market.
"Cattle that supply the Stirling Ranges Beef brand are finished on grain for between 70-100 days, to a carcase weight of 270 kg to 310kg," he said.
"We use MSA data to target carcases which ideally have an MSA marbling of 400, or AUS-MEAT marble score 2+.
"Paul has long-term relationships with the producers he sources cattle from in both the state's south west and Great Southern regions, and he grows all the grain for the feed ration the cattle are finished on.
"We are looking for improved marbling all the time, so we know it's only going to get better. In WA, marbling can be an issue because it's a younger cattle market."
Mr Ryan said his relationship with Butterfield Beef had proven even more vital since COVID-19.
"The relationship with Butterfield Beef gave us the flexibility to continue to meet our customer's needs during this period," he said.