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TAS Country : January 13th 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011 Tasmanian Country 15 The Stock Report Beef over Coles HGP stance NEW DIRECTION: Coles now only sells hormone growth promotant-free beef. EMMA HOPE 'Coles has no right to be denying Australian producers access to the latest technology or dictating to them how to grow beef.' COLES Supermarkets' decision to stop sourcing beef with hormonal growth promotants will not affect Tasmanian farmers, who have been producing HGP-free meat for more than 10 years. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief Jan Davis has wel- comed the decision by Coles. ''Tasmanian farmers have been growing HGP-free beef for over a decade and we're happy for people to be promoting that,'' she said. ''It's their commercial decision. They decide what they're going to stock and what they're not going to stock. ''However, having said that, HGPs are legal and there's no demonstrated evidence of them causing any harm, so it's a call they [Coles] are making on a commercial basis. Consumers will make it clear what they want with their purchasing patterns.'' However, the Animal Health Al- liance has described the move by Coles as a ''supermarket gimmick'' and a blow to Australia's beef industry. Chief executive Peter Holdsworth said the decision disregarded science, would be bad for the environment and would hurt Australian farmers. ''This move is another blow to Australia's beef producers, many of whom have just come through 10 years of drought, low prices and are now battling floods,'' Dr Holdsworth said. ''Coles has no right to be denying Australian producers access to the latest technology or dictating to them how to grow beef.'' He said numerous reviews and evaluations of safety and public health had shown the technology to be com- pletely safe. The technology increases growth rates by between 10 and 30 per cent and improves feed conversion efficiency by 5-15 per cent. Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said the decision to stop stocking HGP beef was about supplying better-quality meat. ''They claim our decision to sell HGP-free beef is not based on science. They are wrong,'' he said. ''The CSIRO and the MLA among others have concluded that HGPs have a negative effect on eating quality. ''They and other sections of the beef industry argue against our decision on the basis that HGPs are safe. We've never said otherwise. We are removing them to give our customers better- quality beef.'' Mr Cooper said farmers would not suffer financially as a result of the decision. ''We are paying our beef suppliers more to cover the higher production costs they'll face without HGPs, and we're absorbing those extra costs so customers will not pay any more for HGP-free beef at Coles,'' he said. Taste of patriotism for Aussies TASMANIAN lamb sales are set to soar with Australia Day approaching. Meat and Livestock Australia has run the successful Australia Day Lamb campaign for several years. The cam- paign has featured straight-shooting Australian identity Sam Kekovich, encouraging consumers to ''fight un- Australianism'' by eating lamb. MLA's 2010 Australia Day Lamb campaign was recently recognised among the world's best, winning a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Inter- national Advertising Festival. This is the third Cannes Lion award- ed to the Australia Day Lamb cam- paign featuring Kekovich, the ''inter- national lambassador''. Demand for Tasmanian lamb re- mains high and export prices are strong, though as January 26 approa- ches local sales are expected to in- crease. Tasmanian lamb is currently selling for near record prices, a welcome relief for farmers who struggled through the drought of recent years. Lamb is the ideal dish to serve on our national day, and a great way to celebrate being Australian is cooking lamb on the barbecue. Supermarkets yet to meat' label promise EMMA HOPE 'They took the opportunity to promote what they were going to doanditwillbeupto consumers to hold them accountable.' PROMISES by the major supermarkets to label locally produced meat as Tasmanian are yet to be honoured. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said the lack of action was frustrating, but she was powerless to take any meaningful action. ''We will continue to raise it with them, but the ability of the farmers association to make Coles or Woolwor- ths do what we want them to do is fairly limited,'' she said. Ms Davis said though Woolworths had announced at last year's TFGA annual meeting its intention to label Tasmanian meat as such, this had not yet occurred. ''They took the opportunity to pro- mote what they were going to do and it will be up to consumers to hold them accountable,'' she said. ''We've been saying for years that this was necessary.'' Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said the company still intended to label Tasmanian beef as Tasmanian, but it had not yet happened. ''Unfortunately it's been delayed,'' Mr Cooper said. ''We're now hoping to have it on packs in June. ''The reason for that is it's now become part of a broader local labelling program that we want to roll out. ''We're still keen to do it. '' He said the beef Coles stocked was mainly local meat. ''Tasmanian customers can still be confident that over 95 per cent of the beef in our Tasmanian stores is from Tasmania, and we're actually working to fix the other 5 per cent as well,'' Mr Cooper said. DAIRY LIVESTOCK WANTED Crossbred heifer calves $350 -- 450 Crossbred Autumn calves approx $500 Peter Korpershoek 0438 583 108 Kent Tyson 0428 318 272 2014348-110114 CATTLE AGISTMENT Weight gain agistment available. 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January 6th 2011
January 27th 2011