The value of information and information sharing in the Australian beef and sheep meat industries

The University of New England has been studying information systems in the Australian red meat supply chain. In a recent survey, we looked at information about animal quality that was exchanged between stud breeders and commercial livestock producers.

A few results from our first survey:

  • Of all the information provided when animals are sold, information on breed is the most common, followed by age of animal, the feed used, and live weight.
  • Producers place the highest value (in $ terms) on information that is of high quality
  • On average, the premium expected by producers for provision of information to buyers is $20.04 per head of cattle.
  • Producers place more value on information about EBVs and MSA than do breeders: producers’ willingness to pay for such information is higher on average than is breeders’.
  • For both breeders and producers, improved quality of information leads to improved financial performance in terms of sales, price received and customer retention.

Our next piece of work on information in the Australian red meat supply chain focuses on certification of products, and feedback to producers.  We would like to estimate the value of such information to breeders, producers and processors, and also try to measure their effect on firms’ performance.

For this, we are using a second on-line questionnaire targeting breeders, producers and processors. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Participation in the survey is anonymous and confidential.

Participate in this survey

For more information please contact Derek Baker, Professor of Agribusiness and Value Chains, University of New England, Armidale NSW,

e-mail or call on (02) 6773 2627.