Livestock

Red meat shown the way ahead

By Country News

The Red Meat Advisory Council has released a white paper its says will revolutionise the sector and establish a powerful organising force for red meat in Australia.

A better red meat future: A white paper for the Red Meat Advisory Council was prepared by an independent taskforce and contains recommendations to deliver an influential and high performing red meat industry.

RMAC independent chair Don Mackay said the white paper proposed a business-centric red meat memorandum of understanding that reduced duplication and provided a single voice for Australia’s 82500 red meat businesses.

‘‘The white paper recommends three new streamlined and unified industry bodies within the MOU: Red Meat Australia, a single research body and a single red meat integrity forum,’’ Mr Mackay said.

‘‘Over many years, industry has been extremely frustrated by too many red meat industry organisations, the lack of accountability and return on investment back to business from levies; and an un-co-ordinated and fractured approach to dealing with the Federal Government.

‘‘The white paper recommends that Red Meat Australia be the single voice for Aussie red meat businesses, be the ultimate determinant of levy investment and deliver the public policy, social licence and domestic and international marketing roles.

‘‘This business-centric approach would make the industry a powerful organising force in Canberra and to the millions of customers and voters who enjoy our product, as well as reduce bureaucracy and duplication, be more cost-effective, and be backed by a real accountability framework back to business and government.’’

Taskforce chair and lead reviewer Jim Varghese said the white paper provided a unique opportunity to address industry-based funding and representational issues that had been long identified but unaddressed.

‘‘Our consultation with industry and business clearly highlighted the need for reform to ensure a stronger capacity for the industry to manage and address current and future issues like climate change, animal activism, technological disruption and in vitro meats,’’ Mr Varghese said.

‘‘Our review showed a strong appetite for change born from the achievements of the meat industry strategic plan and the red meat memorandum of understanding by the red meat business community.’’