Innovation Showcase highlights the future for red meat processing in Australia

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Media Release by AMPC

The Australian Meat Processor Corporation’s (AMPC) first-ever Innovation Showcase has unveiled the technology that will transform the meat processing industry – from robot dogs to virtual reality glasses that can take you inside a processing plant from anywhere, and much more.

Red meat processors and industry participants from across Australia were given the chance to see, feel, try and test more than 40 examples of emerging technology at the inaugural event, The future of red meat processing. All the innovation on display was developed and funded through investment from AMPC, the processing industry’s research and development corporation.

The Showcase was more than a highlight reel of cool tech, though, as it looked at some of the key challenges for the industry. This includes the need for new funding resources including global partnerships, and understanding how novel approaches to drive sustainability outcomes may also deliver improved bottom lines for processors.

AMPC Chief Executive Officer, Chris Taylor, says the Innovation Showcase was an immersive and interactive event, allowing red meat processors to see how R&D solutions could be used in their own businesses.

“The Innovation Showcase was about equipping Australian red meat processors to continue delivering world-class products and creating jobs in the communities where they operate,” he says. 

“The showcase proved the future of the red meat processing industry is exciting, and regional communities together with R&D providers will continue to power this industry. Most of our member processors are aware of or involved in a handful of our activities, but we actually have about 300 R&D activities underway. We wanted to give processors a chance not only to understand the breadth of what we are doing but to understand what is coming for the industry and what might be relevant in their own business so they can make confident decisions about where to invest.

Over three days, the event featured 11-panel discussions and presentations from innovators and futurists. Topics ranged from the use of artificial intelligence in processing plants to the evolution of the circular economy. AMPC General Manager of R&D and Adoption, Nick Pagett, says the circular economy offers opportunity beyond achieving sustainability goals.

“The circular economy is about optimising the use of resources, and of course sustainability is an important outcome, but it’s also about how we get the absolute maximum value out of the products we create. That means utilising technology to transform waste into energy and other saleable products. All this sits alongside other sustainability goals like re-using water and managing energy usage,” he says.

One of the most valuable sessions on the agenda was a gathering of AMPC’s embedded innovation managers, who are based day-to-day within processing plants to help drive adoption of innovation. 

Nick says it was the first networking opportunity for the innovation managers since their positions were established two years ago.

“By getting the group together we were able to start to find ways around the natural competitive tension within the industry and start looking at big-picture opportunities that could benefit everyone. For example, we’re looking at where virtual reality might help reduce the cost associated with compulsory site inspections by allowing them to happen remotely.”

The Innovation Showcase is part of AMPC’s efforts to demonstrate the value of red meat processing in Australia. 

In August, AMPC launched its national More to Meat campaign which highlights the important role red meat processors are playing in regional communities, the national red meat supply chain, and the industry’s significant contribution to the national economy. Meat processing creates a world-class product locally via an industry that supports the employment of 134,000 people in over 300 communities around Australia.

The AMPC Innovation Showcase was hosted at the Melbourne Showgrounds from 11th-13th  October. There were 300 delegates and more than two dozen speakers, and it is believed to have been the industry’s first carbon-neutral conference.

For more information on the More to Meat campaign, visit