AUSTRALIA, North Sidney. Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the country’s red meat levy board, will invest AUS$12.7 mill. to bolster the competitiveness of feedlot operators via an innovation and marketing push.
The levy board will invest more than it did last year in grain-fed beef verticals, with total investment rising by around AUS$100,000 compared to last year. Close to AUS$7 mill. will be pumped into research and development. Around AUS$3.47 mill., accrued from levies paid to MLA, will be matched by an equivalent amount of government funding to reach the AUS$6.95 mill. total. The AUS$5.77 mill. remaining investment will be used to finance marketing, a portion of which will be used exclusively for grain-fed marketing while the rest will be used for beef marketing alongside the grass-fed beef sector.
Des Rinehart, MLA’s grain-fed, live export and goat program manager described investment in R&D as vital to ensure the intrinsically-linked productivity and profitability of the beef industry in Australia is strengthened.
Feed supplies are expected to tighten this year in Australia as a season of heavy rain and burgeoning competition from buyers will likely see stocks tighten. A range of programs in genetics, genomics, animal nutrition and feed efficiency will be offered to lot feeders and producers to ensure risks are managed. MLA’s work in R&D will explore how to optimise aspects of animal welfare, disease control and environmental stewardship to ensure Australians trust the meat industry.
MLA’s annual investment plan for the 2016/17 year is supported by six tenets that Australia’s meat industry has aspirations of achieving in the next four years. The six pillars are: consumer and community support; market growth and diversification; supply chain efficiency and integrity; productivity and profitability; leadership and collaborative culture; and stakeholder engagement.