This paper discusses the management of meat tenderness using a carcass grading scheme which utilizes the concept of total quality management of those factors which impact on beef palatability. The scheme called Meat Standards Australia (MSA) has identified the Critical Control Points (CCPs) from the production, pre-slaughter, processing and value adding sectors of the beef supply chain and quantified their relative importance using large-scale consumer testing. These CCPs have been used to manage beef palatability in two ways. Firstly, CCPs from the pre-slaughter and processing sectors have been used as mandatory criteria for carcasses to be graded. Secondly, other CCPs from the production and processing sectors have been incorporated into a model to predict palatability for individual muscles. The evidence for the importance of CCPs from the production (breed, growth path and HGP implants), pre-slaughter and processing (pH/temperature window, alternative carcass suspension, marbling and ageing) sectors are reviewed and the accuracy of the model to predict palatability for specific muscle×cooking techniques is presented.