Australia's Meat Industry launchs Strategic Plan

by Editor
Friday, August 21, 2009

Ausstralia’s red meat industry wants to establish a single, national lobbying voice in the next five years, with several major livestock groups arguing the industry is “fragmented” and "punching below its weight" in a new report to be released in Canberra yesterday.

The plan, as reported on Weekly Times Now, plots a strategic path for the red meat and livestock industries for the next five years. It was launched by Australia’s Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke.

With RMAC overseeing the process, the plan was prepared by more than 200 industry and outside experts at a series of workshops late last year and early this year.

It contains seven strategic themes, a key one relating to the environment and “ethics”.
In this area, the intention is to step up efforts to convince customers and the community that meat and livestock producers are “ethical'” producers of food, particularly in their “custodianship” of the environment and animals.

There will also be a cross-industry approach to climate change issues and “truth in labelling” changes, especially for beef and lamb.

Mr Burke said he was pleased to see these issues front and centre in the new plan, because the meat industry had a “first rate story to tell”.

Another key theme of the plan is to develop a single voice in dealings with government on issues cutting across all meat and livestock sectors, with RMAC to be upgraded to take on that role more effectively.

It is understood RMAC now uses only about 50% of levy funds available for its operation, and will look to use its full budget of about $300,000 a year in future.

RMAC is made up of representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, the Cattle Council of Australia, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, the Australian Meat Industry Council, the Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Australian Livestock Exporters Council.

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