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Abstract

Eating quality is one of the most important factors influencing demand for beef. Meat Standards Australia is a voluntary beef grading system aimed at improving consumer certainty about beef quality, improving overall beef quality and strengthening supply chain linkages. Since its inception in 1999/2000, substantial improvements in beef quality, as measured by the system, have been identified. An evaluation was undertaken to estimate the economic value of these improvements to the industry. It was found that MSA graded beef consistently attracted premiums above nongraded beef, with mean values of 29c/kg and 39c/kg (carcass equivalent) at the wholesale and retail levels respectively, while the food service sector received an average of 39c/kg (carcass equivalent). The total retail value of the program to date is estimated to be between $218 to 230 million and$171 million at the wholesale level (in terms of 2005 prices).