IT'S something every auctioneer has pointed out when getting ready to knock down a pen at a prime or store sale in recent years, but how important is having European Union accredited cattle?
Some will argue it is a major benefit as it opens up their cattle to another market, while others will argue there are plenty of other markets, that are just as lucrative, to sell cattle.
However, as we have seen at several stud sales recently, EU accredited heifers have drawn substantial money, in some cases more than 900c/kg.
When the hammer fell on those heifers, murmurs filled the crowd about the EU accreditation driving up the price. That may well have played a factor, but if current market trend across the state has taught us anything, it's that quality cattle will always bring good money regardless of an EU accreditation and this case was no different.
Then of course there is Australia's newest trade agreement with the United Kingdom which will mean beef tariffs will be eliminated for 10 years, while Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 35,000 tonnes, rising in equal instalments to 110,000 tonnes in year 10.
Sure the UK is no longer a part of the EU, but who is to say there won't be a similar sort of accreditation once the agreement is up and running?
Meat and Livestock Australia was unable to comment on the trade deal, as it was not yet finalised, but Elders stock agent John Goudge, Tamworth, said any new markets that opened to producers were a positive.
"I always think it is advisable to do all you can when it comes to exploring new markets," Mr Goudge said.
"The premiums change throughout the year but if you are able to do it and more importantly, you want to do it, I think it is something you should be doing, just to open markets up for you.
"I think there is a growing groundswell of support for it, albeit a slowly growing one but people are looking at it."
In 2021, Tamworth has regularly been home to some of the strongest store and prime cattle sales, however Mr Goudge said there had not been a major increase in EU accredited cattle coming through the saleyards.
"In the time I've been there, I wouldn't say there has been more vendors that are EU accredited but those that are in it are enjoying it," he said.
"However, I think the way prices are continuing to improve and new markets open up, especially ones where the EU accreditation is required, then I'll think more and more people will look to do it."
Angus Australia president Sam White echoed Mr Goudge's sentiments saying he was unsure if there would be a premium on EU accredited cattle in the future, but if there was Angus breeders would stand to benefit.
"I haven't had a close look at the UK trade deal so I'm not too sure if there will be a premium there, but I'm confident in thinking there will be," Mr White said.
"In the same vein, I think the same thing will apply for the EU, if there is a substantial premium there it will attract people into it.
"At the moment it is worth noting the main driver of the market is restocker demand, which I think will influence everyone for the next few years but we expect that to ease over the next couple of years and from there, if there is a premium, I think people will look to capitalise."
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