Australia’s red meat integrity system key to global trust in Australian beef, research finds

Integrity system key to global trust in Australian beef, research finds

05 October 2021
  • Recent research has found that trust in the Australian integrity system, as well as general awareness of the system, is high across a number of key markets
  • The research found that quality and safety of Australian beef products, as assured by the integrity system, drove consumer perceptions and choices around Australian beef products
  • By providing lifetime traceability of livestock, Australia’s integrity system was also found to act as reassurance to retailers, consumers and trade that the safety and quality of Australian beef products could be guaranteed.

The Australian red meat integrity system strongly underpins consumer decisions and beliefs around Australian beef in a number of key export markets, according to recent research published.  

In May 2021, ISC engaged data analytics and brand consulting agency Kantar to conduct research into the role of the integrity system in building trust in Australian beef and sustaining its premium pricing.  

The study investigated the beliefs and understandings of trade, retail and consumer segments towards Australian beef and Australia’s red meat integrity systems across five key markets, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

To gather these insights, researchers conducted over 100 qualitative interviews with participants across these segments over a period of two weeks.  

The information obtained was then collated and the results analysed by Kantar to produce a range of findings around perceptions of Australia’s red meat integrity system and Australian beef products in the key markets surveyed. 

Trust in the integrity system 

The study found that ultimately, trust in the Australian integrity system is high across countries and user segments surveyed.  

Despite having a loose understanding of how Australia’s red meat integrity system works, most participants surveyed had a strong awareness of the system’s existence and held the integrity system in high regard.  

Quality and safety  

The research also determined that by assuring the quality and safety of Australian beef, the integrity system inspired trust in Australian beef products and ultimately drove purchase decisions for many consumers. 

Current key decision making factors across the 5 nationalities researched are around product quality and safety

Through the interviews conducted, product quality and safety were identified as the two key factors driving consumer choice of beef products across the five key markets researched.  

Particularly, product quality was found to be front of mind for consumers across the five key markets researched, with consumer perceptions around a product’s country of origin playing a core role in determining which beef products were perceived as high-quality.   

Thanks to strong positive consumer perceptions and trust in Australia and its red meat integrity system, Australia was seen by research participants as providing high-quality products – driving consumer choices and desires for Australian beef products. 

Quality is front of mind - and this is closely linked to country of origin with Australia seen as providing high quality.

Traceability as reassurance 

Additionally, by providing lifetime traceability of livestock, Australia’s integrity system was also found to act as reassurance to retailers, consumers and trade that the safety and quality of Australian beef products could be guaranteed.  

While knowledge around Australia’s livestock traceability systems was limited amongst participants, all segments surveyed were appreciative that the system existed as a safeguard for Australian beef products.  

Upon further reflection, research participants from trade and retail arms across the key markets surveyed also expressed the traceability of Australian beef products was beneficial as it:  

  • provides reassurance that a food safety problem with Australian beef products could be easily and quickly resolved, should one arise  
  • implies the quality of products for those in the supply chain who pay attention to quality indicators such as fodder 
  • conveys the transparency of the production of Australian beef products, which in turn builds consumer trust in these products. 

To hear additional details about this research and its findings, listen to this webinar hosted on Monday as part of the MLA updates: impact series.

Find out more about Australia’s red meat integrity system, or learn how ISC is working to continuously enhance and deliver our world leading red meat integrity system.  

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