Australian meat RETAIL

As the popularity of Australian beef and lamb continues to grow, we are poised to meet the demand with an extensive range of cuts and product lines, all raised and processed to some of the strictest standards on earth. Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) actively partners with retailers to educate and raise awareness of Australian beef and lamb in today’s markets. From helping you connect with the right supplier partner, to best-practice in merchandising and butchery training, we're here to help.



Australia has been exporting meat for over a century and currently services customers in more than 120 countries worldwide. The volume focus for the Australian red meat industry is firmly on exports, which means our systems have been built to the exacting standards for safety, quality and traceability of global consumers.

As the retail sector has a strong influence on consumer's meal decisions, our goal is to encourage and support the evolution of red meat retailing and merchandising to help local retail businesses to grow. Our retail programs aim to improve standards in areas such as food safety, presentation, quality and shelf life, customer service and staff training & knowledge. 

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To build demand for Australian beef and lamb, MLA can provide program suggestions tailored to educate our retail partners and in concert with importer-suppliers. If you'd like to capitalize on the growing appetite for beef and lamb from Australia, we'd love to work with you. 

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The Australian meat industry recognised many years ago that packing and delivery are two critical links in the beef supply chain, particularly for international customers.

Our processing sector employs the latest packaging technologies to ensure that Australian beef is delivered to export markets in the same high quality condition as it left the processing house.

Australian chilled beef primal cuts are vacuum packed to maintain freshness and quality, ensuring extended shelf life. Strict temperature control is maintained throughout the delivery process, inhibiting bacterial growth and giving Australian beef a shelf life of up to 120 days under optimal storage conditions.

Australian processors consider the following four factors to play a key role in controlling the growth of microorganisms on meat in vacuum packs:

- Australian Processing Conditions — The cleanliness of cattle prior to slaughter (due to being grassfed) and the decreased processing speeds at slaughter result in lower microbial counts, decreasing the potential for contamination on meat surfaces. As noted earlier, all export-accredited processors have Australian government auditable HACCP procedures, high food safety and hygiene standards in place.

- Temperature — Microbial growth rates at 0°C to 1°C are only about half those at 5°C. Keeping storage temperature as low as -1°C without freezing the meat is the best way to maximise shelf life. Australian meat is typically transported at -1.5°C to -0.5°C.

- Gas Atmosphere in the Vacuum Packaging — The basis of effective vacuum packaging to prevent spoilage and prolong the shelf life of meat is the oxygen-free environment, which inhibits the growth of spoilage bacteria, while still allowing the natural tenderising process of ageing to continue.

- The Meat’s pH — High pH meat (pH6.0 and higher—the traditional definition of a ‘dark cutter’) will spoil more quickly than meat below pH6, as some bacteria are able to survive in this high pH environment. By excluding meat from the carcasses where the meat pH is greater than 6, processors can eliminate these spoilage problems.