Trade cli­mate wor­ries MLA

Countryman - - NEWS - Ann Rawl­ings

An un­pre­dictable global trade en­vi­ron­ment has been tipped as an on­go­ing con­cern by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia, with the con­tin­ued push to se­cure new mar­kets for Aus­tralian red meat high on its list of pri­or­i­ties.

The meat re­search and mar­ket­ing body will next week host share­hold­ers and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives at its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Can­berra, with the event to be run in con­junc­tion with Red Meat 2018, on Novem­ber 20-23.

On the agenda is MLA’s per­for­mance, in­vest­ment spend and out­look, as well as a vote to de­ter­mine two ad­di­tions to the board.

In her an­nual re­port ad­dress, MLA chair­woman Michelle Al­lan said the Aus­tralian red meat in­dus­try served more than 100 in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, but new bar­ri­ers to trade and evolv­ing geopo­lit­i­cal land­scapes had strained some re­la­tion­ships.

She said added to this pres­sure was the fact that many of the in­dus­try’s key sup­ply re­gions were in the grip of drought.

“(The sea­son) 2017–18 has been a chal­leng­ing year for many of MLA’s stake­hold­ers,” she said.

“Sea­sonal con­di­tions will al­ways have im­pli­ca­tions for na­tional herd size, slaugh­ter num­bers, sup­ply chain prof­itabil­ity, ex­port vol­umes, do­mes­tic pric­ing and con­sump­tion — but it’s a con­tin­u­ing tes­ta­ment to our in­dus­try’s re­silience that these im­pacts do not al­ter its over­all progress.”

Ms Al­lan said MLA had sought to keep Aus­tralian beef, sheep­meat and goat­meat at the top of the food chain both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally via a range of mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives.

MLA last month re­vealed to­tal in­vest­ment spend for 2017-18 in­creased 35.8 per cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, from $193 mil­lion to $262.2 mil­lion.

Counted for within the 2017-18 in­vest­ment spend was $171.8 mil­lion in re­search and de­vel­op­ment and $90.4 mil­lion in mar­ket­ing, mar­ket ac­cess and in­sights ac­tiv­i­ties.

MLA manag­ing di­rec­tor Richard Nor­ton said the up­lift in in­vest­ment was pri­mar­ily at­trib­ut­able to sub­sidiary MLA Donor Com­pany, which in­creased in­vest­ment by $59.3 mil­lion — or 158.1 per cent — to $96.8 mil­lion and re­sulted in MLA us­ing al­most 99 per cent of its Gov­ern­ment-match­ing funds avail­able for the pe­riod.

“The fact is, the Aus­tralian red meat and live­stock in­dus­try has a good story and, in the past year, MLA has in­vested in a range of ini­tia­tives to share it,” Mr Nor­ton said in his an­nual re­port ad­dress.

In 2017–18, MLA’s rev­enue was $272.5 mil­lion, 35.9 per cent higher year-on-year, com­pared with $200.5 mil­lion in 2016-17. MLA’s AGM will be streamed on­line, but mem­bers must reg­is­ter be­fore 5pm on Novem­ber 19 to ac­cess the broad­cast events. Reg­is­ter at: https://reg­is­ter.go­towe­bi­nar.com/reg­is­ter/8144282032890420492. Some ses­sions from Red Meat 2018 will also be livestreamed via red­meat.mla.com.au.

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