Pressures mounting on meat processors
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.