Call to fo­cus on ‘safe beef’

Pilbara News - - Cattle Conference - Tom Zaun­mayr

Pas­toral­ists have been urged to look be­yond the much-hyped de­mand from China for high-end pro­duce, as Aus­tralian cat­tle pro­duc­ers look to in­fil­trate the “sleep­ing dragon” mar­ket.

ANZ head of agribusi­ness Mark Ben­nett said while pre­mium prod­uct ex­ports were at­tract­ing me­dia and po­lit­i­cal at­ten­tion, tar­get­ing the ev­ery­day Chi­nese mar­ket could bring sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits.

“The big driver into China is not high-end fil­lets, it is safe beef that won’t kill them,” he said.

Mr Ben­nett said Chi­nese in­vestors were preparing for a one mil­lion-head in­take, though cur­rent fore­casts had the in­take num­ber from Aus­tralia at about 400,000500,000.

“The Chi­nese mar­ket is show­ing a lot more en­thu­si­asm than we are here,” he said.

“They are re­ally se­ri­ous about this stuff and I just can’t think they would spend this much money and not have an im­pact.

“They are go­ing over­board to try and tick ev­ery sin­gle box we de­mand in not harm­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of our in­dus­try from any­thing that may go wrong, right through the sup­ply chain.”

Fron­tier In­ter­na­tional Agri South East Asia op­er­a­tions man­ager Ash­ley Jones said the Chi­nese mar­ket pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity for the Pil­bara be­cause of cost sav­ings pre­sented by the short haul from Port Hed­land to Asia.

Mr Jones said there were sev­eral hur­dles to over­come, such as a re­quire­ment to keep yards free of other cat­tle for a week be­fore cat­tle des­tined for China could be brought in.

“Some fa­cil­i­ties are say­ing ‘we are not in­ter­ested in China’ be­cause they have to shut their fa­cil­i­ties down for seven-10 days,” he said.

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