GMP Supplier Seminar
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Thank you for joining us at the GMP plant last Wednesday 29 May. It was terrific to have the opportunity to tour the recently upgraded GMP facilities with you all and to hear from GMP regarding their future and the integration of new technologies. We also enjoyed speaking with you about the KC Natural business, along with our markets and opportunities.
We would like to thank Will Barton and Michelle Henry from GMP for partnering with us to deliver the Supplier Seminar. We would also like to extend our thanks to Richard Apps and Verity Suttor (MLA), Clive Richardson and Paige Mazoudier (MINTRAC), and Sarita Guy (AGBU Armidale) for their contributions to this workshop. Please find a brief recap of the day below.

Thank you all again for coming,
Sam and Bill

GMP - Will Barton

Will welcomed us all and then provided us with a run down of how GMP operates on a daily basis and what drives the profitability of the business at a production level. He discussed the zero touch system that has been integrated into the chiller. This system aims to eliminate potential for bacterial burden as a result of carcases being touched and interacted with. Will also discussed how this system has greatly increased his production capacity.

KC Natural - Sam Burton Taylor and Bill Scott

Sam provided an overview of how KC Natural started back in 2012 when Sam opened a butcher's shop, which quickly developed into an export business, with China being the first market entered into. KC Natural now export Australian beef and lamb to many markets across the world. Bill joined KC Natural in 2015 and commenced the lamb operation side of the business. KC Natural has exported 250,000 lambs over the past 2 years. The entire lamb business now sits with GMP. KC Natural and GMP are working alongside each other to develop a strong market base for lambs, utilising the latest technology to strengthen grower returns.

MLA - Richard Apps

Richard Apps informed us all about objective carcase measurement and the link between on-farm production and kill data. He spoke extensively about the use of a number of different technologies and measurement tools. These will likely be used in future to accurately give a measurement of carcase quality at the time of kill, whilst also meeting chain speed requirements.
Some of these tools are included the recently integrated DEXA technology at GMP which shows the potential yield of a carcase. Richard stated the importance of integrating technologies into chain speed grading was the next be step in meat processing.
  • The impedance spectroscopy probe can give a measure of intramuscular fat through quick easy muscle probing
  • The hyperspectral camera also gives and indication of marbling through inferred scanning of the meat surfaces. 

MLA - Verity Suttor

Verity spoke about what livestock data link is, what value it can give producers and lamb buyers, including the ability to analyse carcase feedback and disease and defect information. Verity also spoke about how producers can set up an LDL account and how to use the many features of LDL.

MINTRAC - Clive Richardson and Paige Mazoudier

Paige is an Honours student at CSU Wagga, doing her thesis on the potential impacts from poor animal health to actual production. Clive and Paige spoke about the affects of arthritis and other animal health conditions in lambs and the cost implications. Through Paige's study she was able to identify that approximately 2% of all lambs that went through Gundagai had been exposed to arthritis and then went on to show the monetary effects on production that this caused. Clive went on to broadly identify other sheep health defects that affect slaughter floors in this area.

AGBU Armidale - Sarita Guy

Sarita discussed genetics and the capacity for increased genetic selection to improve production both on-farm and in a carcase environment. The discussion followed the principles of lamb plan and merino selection. Sarita also talked about the correlation between different traits and how they linked to one another both positively and negatively.

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