Pres­sures mount­ing on meat pro­ces­sors

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT -

IT costs more than twice as much to process beef in Aus­tralia as it does in Brazil and this is strain­ing pro­ces­sors, with the fear more plants could close if cat­tle prices spike.

The costs were re­vealed in a re­port re­leased by the Aus­tralian Meat Pro­ces­sor Cor­po­ra­tion this week, which also found Aus­tralian pro­ces­sors’ costs were 75 per cent higher than in Ar­gentina and 24 per cent higher than in the US.

AMPC chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Rizzo said the in­dus­try, which pro­vides more than 126,000 full-time equiv­a­lent jobs, faced cost pres­sure from en­ergy, labour and reg­u­la­tion.

Of the costs in­curred by pro­ces­sors, the re­port es­ti­mated that more than 54 per cent were due to some form of reg­u­la­tion, “which is a sig­nif­i­cantly higher per­cent­age than any of the com­par­i­son coun­tries”.

The re­port found labour-re­lated charges were the big­gest area of dis­par­ity, with Aus­tralian labour-hire costs ac­count­ing for more than 58 per cent of to­tal costs, com­pared with un­der 50 per cent in other coun­tries.

Mr Rizzo said that while pro­ces­sors could not con­trol labour costs, the reg­u­la­tory bur­den could be fixed.

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