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Title: Data capture through Australian beef cattle and meat sheep value chains: opportunities for enhanced feedback to commercial producers
Contributor(s): Guy, S Z Y  (author)orcid ; Brown, D J  (author)orcid ; Banks, R G  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018
Early Online Version: 2018-04-23
DOI: 10.1071/AN17807
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Abstract: Technologies for capturing and transmitting data from different points in livestock value chains are developing very rapidly, and interest is growing in how best to use such technologies. While new data-capture technology comes with the promise of producers and others being more informed about a system, what usually results is large and complex datasets. A key challenge is to make use of the data or information. The present paper initially outlines the data-capture points and flow of information that occurs throughout the Australian beef cattle and meat sheep value chain. The avenues through which feedback can be delivered to commercial producers are briefly summarised, along with the value of this feedback and the factors that affect its value. Finally, practical principles for effective feedback systems are provided. While data capture is occurring throughout the value chain, the main focus of the paper is on carcass- and eating-quality feedback from processors to commercial producers. There is significant variation in the volume, nature and quality of data collected, and also the flow of information among members of the chain. Further, there appears to be an inconsistency in the levels of demand or desire for the feedback. The value of feedback ultimately depends on the producer's ability to make better business decisions as a result of having that data or information. Increasing market specifications and compliance will result in greater profitability for the producer, as well as processor. The value of feedback also depends on several other factors, including its accuracy, its granularity, whether or not it can be connected to other data, and what options the producer has to use that information in the future. Feedback must be interpretable and enable better business decisions. The value of feedback will also increase if extended further upstream along the supply chain for genetic evaluation, provided there is enough information on genetically informed animals and their identifications can be tracked across the supply chain. For efficient feedback systems, every member in the chain needs to see value in the feedback, and there needs to be a mutual commitment and shared vision between all value-chain partners. Further, feedback must be provided in an efficient and practical manner, so as to increase the willingness of the information providers to deliver the feedback. Producers should be involved in any attempts to enhance feedback systems. Since there is variability in the needs, wants and capabilities of processors and producers, multiple dynamic and flexible feedback systems are required. An incentive to enhance feedback systems is to provide a value proposition by calculating the monetary value of the feedback to all members of the chain. Better objective measurements and Meat Standards Australia for lamb is likely to also contribute to better feedback value propositions. Communication and fostering of relationships among supply-chain members will always remain critical. While data permissions add a complication to information sharing across the chain, benefits can be gained by not only the commercial producer, but the entire industry.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 58(8), p. 1497-1503
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070201 Animal Breeding
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830301 Beef Cattle
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100401 Beef cattle
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
Journal Article

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