Thursday, 6 June 2019
THE State’s lamb producers are set to enjoy a $10 million dollar boost to annual returns with changes to the definition of lamb, announced today by Minister for Agriculture and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the change would provide growers, including those in the Northern Tablelands, with more certainty and put them on equal footing in international markets.
“These changes will give growers greater confidence and certainty when going to market by providing a more definitive physical indication of what constitutes a lamb,” Mr Marshall said.
“The current definition involves a great deal of guesswork because it classifies a lamb as being an animal that has not cut an incisor tooth.
“In practice this means producers can have as little as one month’s warning before they face the price cliff associated with their lamb becoming classified as a hogget.”
Under the new definition lamb will be an ovine that is under 12 months of age or does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear.
“This will give producers a clearer timeframe about when they can market their ovine as lamb, ensuring they get the best return on their product,” Mr Marshall said.
“Forecasting estimates the changes will add $50 on average to each animal and $10 million per year to the NSW lamb industry.
“It will also remove the ridiculous situation where, over a weekend, an animal could lose two-thirds of its value just because it lost a tooth, without any material change to its quality.”
The changes will come into effect in July and will bring NSW into line with key international competitors, including Australia’s largest lamb export competitor, New Zealand.
“This will place NSW producers on equal footing with key international competitors such as those in New Zealand where lamb is already defined in the same way,” Mr Marshall said.
“Importantly the definition changes will have no bearing on the great quality and taste of Aussie lamb that consumers, both here and around the world, love and expect.”