Beef’s eight big challenges for 2012

Beef Central spoke to Cattle Council of Australia president Andrew Ogilvie yesterday to discuss the key challenges that the peak cattle body sees ahead for Australia’s beef industry in 2012.

In short, here they are:

1. Structural reform
A strong mood for industry change has been evident in recent years and the groundswell reached a crescendo at Longreach in November last year where hundreds of industry members gathered for Meat and Livestock Australia’s annual general meeting.

2. Live export
After a horrific year for the live export industry, further uncertainty lies ahead this year after the Indonesian Government announced it will almost halve its cattle imports from Australia in 2012.

3. Domestic market
Australia’s biggest single beef market is its own domestic market, which accounted for around 44 percent of total sales of Australian beef by volume in 2010-11.

4. Exports
The movement of the Australian dollar relative to its US counterpart is likely to have a significant bearing over the fortunes of Australian beef prices in 2012.

5. R&D
The vast majority of the cattle industry’s $76m annual spend on research and development is targeted at projects to improve efficiency in beef production, such as through improving feed conversion and weight gain efficiency.

6. Carbon
Cattle Council says it is taking “a fairly conservative view” on the question of whether the Gillard Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative will provide any tangible benefits to beef producers.

7. Market access
A key role of peak industry bodies such as Cattle Council is to work with market trading partners and Governments to improve market access, reduce trade restrictions and to represent the industry on social licence to operate issues.

8. Matthews Report on FMD preparedness
The Matthews Report on Australia’s biosecurity response capacities last year uncovered some alarming gaps in Australia’s preparedness to handle a major livestock disease incursion. 


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