An update from the Chairman
Last week MLA met with political stakeholders in Canberra to update them on the progress of our industry’s $9 million animal welfare plan to progressively reopen the cattle trade to Indonesia.
Through the Industry-Government Working Group on Live Animal Exports, many elements of the plan have commenced to ensure that controlled supply chains are in place to assure the welfare of Australian cattle.
Click here for more information about the activities currently underway in Indonesia.
While MLA is determinedly working with the Australian and Indonesian Governments, we remain fully committed to continuing our services to industry across domestic and international marketing, research, development and extension.
Keeping domestic demand strong
To date, domestic demand for beef appears to be unaffected by the issues surrounding the live cattle trade to Indonesia. While MLA is closely monitoring market indicators, we are also rolling out our ongoing marketing campaigns to help keep demand high.
The major supermarkets and many independent butchers in Australia have reported no noticeable changes in sales as a result of the live export issues. We will continue assessing this situation by examining cattle and beef prices, gathering further sales feedback from retailers and tracking consumer perceptions and behaviour via market research.
The latest beef marketing initiative builds on the themes of our successful ‘Trust your Beeflex’ campaign launched last year. The reaction to our current beef marketing activities, including the new winter beef television advertisement (to the view the ad, click here) and popular Entice magazine, indicates the campaign is helping to encourage beef purchases on the domestic market.
MLA has also planned a new red meat nutrition marketing campaign, featuring Sam Neill, which will immediately follow the winter campaign at the end of July and highlight the nutritional attributes of red meat established in previous ‘Red Meat Amazing Food’ campaigns.
MLA continues to promote Australian red meat through our work with the retail and foodservice sectors to keep beef and lamb on the table in Australian households and restaurants.
This includes our work with independent retail butchers to promote value-added red meat products through MLA’s ‘Beefing up your profits’ and ‘Racking up your profits’ programs. Our new Beef and Lamb Masterpieces programs are successfully boosting foodservice awareness and demand for alternative cuts. We are also working with national retail accounts to develop and launch new products that deliver greater convenience for consumers, and assisting brands at retail and in the foodservice sector that are underpinned by the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) system.
MLA also continues to aggressively promote Australian red meat in all major export markets and I will provide you with an update of these activities in a future email.
Still present in the paddock
During this time, MLA has not forgotten its overarching goal of providing tools and technologies to help producers improve their bottom line through targeted research, development and extension.
It was pleasing to see the Government commit to continuing to match industry funds in research and development on the back of the release two weeks ago of the Productivity Commission final report into Rural Research and Development Corporations. MLA is as committed as ever to investing these funds in research that generates and delivers clear benefits to our industry.
We have a full calendar of extension activities in coming months, delivering the practical outcomes of R&D into the paddock to assist producers in driving profit, productivity and sustainability. The next of our established series of MLA Meat Profit Days will be held in Eidsvold, Queensland on 28 June. Making More From Sheep It’s ewe time forums will be held across the country through July and August and ongoing More Beef From Pastures events and northern Beef Up forums will help producers tap into production tools and target profit drivers.
While MLA has been under the gun in recent weeks, it is the long-term success of our industry as a whole that drives us. You have my commitment that MLA will continue to work with unfailing persistence to pursue outcomes and provide valued services to our industry.
Meat & Livestock Australia