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Doorway To Increased Efficiency

by 5m Editor
20 May 2004, at 12:00am

UK - 'In the past we have looked through the keyhole, Autofom allows us to open the door.“ This glowing testimonial, from the head of buying at Westfleisch in Germany, was cited by British Pig Executive (BPEX) Chief Executive Mick Sloyan.

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Speaking at a dinner organised by JSR Healthbred on the eve of Pig Fair, he said Autofom was now approved for use in the UK.

Autofom is an ultrasonic scanner that enables the consistent, accurate estimation of lean, fat and bone in the carcase. It works as an integral part of the slaughterline and so can operate at high speed.

A sophisticated computer programme enables the accurate on-line estimation of the weight of lean meat in the major primals of carcase (leg, loin, shoulder).

This allows objective assessment of which carcases, and even which parts of a carcase, are in specification and that information can be used as a basis of payments to producers. The system has been championed by the BPEX and Mr Sloyan said: “It is sometimes said that new carcase grading systems like Autofom will not add any money to the value of the pig.

“I disagree. In my view it can help producers and processors become more efficient and take cost out of what is, by nature, an expensive process.

“One thing that is likely to happen is that those carcases that meet market requirements and enable processors to reduce wastage will be more valued and those that do not will be reduced in price. “But if the feedback of the Autofom results to producers is good, then over time it should enable producers to get more pigs into the desired grade.

Head, Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Unit “In my view the adoption of Autofom for carcase classification and the improvement in the flow of management information to producers, processors and suppliers will enable the British industry to take a big step forward.“

A leaflet called an Industry Guide to Autofom provides further information and will be available as a pdf to download from the BPEX website, www.bpex.org.uk.

Source: British Pig Executive - 20th May 2004

5m Editor