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Dorper sheep breeders and processors gearing up for the launch of the Prime Dorper Lamb brand in the next few months are hoping to replicate the success of breed-based beef brands.

Underpinned by Meat Standards Australia (MSA), the Prime Dorper Lamb brand is seen as the next step for producers to increase awareness of the quality of their sheep meat and ensure a consistent supply to local processors.

Donna Emmerton, a board member of the Dorper Sheep Society of Australia (DSSA), says with the South African meat breed finding a foothold not only in the rangelands but across much of Australia, it was important to find a way to supply a consistent branded product to build a reputation similar to leading beef breeds.

“Our producers are keen and motivated but it’s difficult because they are Australia-wide, so by using MSA as a ‘backbone’ it means all producers are on the same page, producing the same product consistently,” Ms Emmerton said.

“There’s also been such rapid growth in Dorpers in the past 20 years that we feel that consumers don’t always distinguish between our lamb and other breeds, and we think it’s important to make that distinction to create more demand and make Dorper the ‘lamb of choice’.

“The Dorper Sheep Society of Australia has visions of Dorper being the Angus of the sheep world.”

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