Ur­gent ac­tion needed if cat­tle trade is to sur­vive

Countryman - - NEWS - Zach Relph

A com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert who worked on pro-ex­port cam­paigns amid the 2011 Aus­tralian live cat­tle ex­port halt with In­done­sia has fore­shad­owed the death of the na­tion’s live ex­port in­dus­try.

Speak­ing at last Thurs­day’s 111th an­nual Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion con­ven­tion, mar­ket­ing strate­gist Toby Ralph said the in­dus­try’s end was im­mi­nent.

Mr Ralph said the en­tire live ex­port sec­tor was in dire need of a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar cam­paign to rein­vig­o­rate its tar­nished pub­lic im­age, while re­it­er­at­ing his be­lief the in­dus­try was a “dead man walk­ing”.

“The live ex­port in­dus­try is a dead man walk­ing,” he said.

“There is noth­ing more cer­tain, it will shut. The only ques­tion is time.

“It’s dead be­cause you haven’t told your story, it’s dead be­cause in­ac­tiv­ity has left politi­cians un­pro­tected, it’s dead be­cause you’ve done so lit­tle that 14-yearolds on Twit­ter have nib­bled it to death.”

Mr Ralph ad­vised the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion and Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia when the former Gil­lard govern­ment elected to ban live ex­ports to In­done­sia seven years ago.

Mr Ralph, who main­tained he was not be­ing paid by the PGA, said a pro-live ex­port cam­paign could cost the in­dus­try up to $5 mil­lion, but was es­sen­tial in restitch­ing the in­dus­try’s so­cial ac­cep­tance.

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