Clear goals for meat sector
TIGHT-KNIT community spirit was on display for the thousands who flocked to the Huon Show last Saturday.
Axemen, animals, arts and crafts, rides and smiling faces packed the Ranelagh showground for the event’s 72nd year.
Among the estimated 13,000 patrons was Ryan Geary, who said the familyfriendly atmosphere was the best part of the day.
“The crowd here is great and it’s just a really fun day out for everyone,” he said.
Mr Geary’s son Casper, 9, said interacting with the animals was a highlight.
“I got to hold a macaw and see a dog long-jumping show which was really cool,” he said.
Huon Agricultural Society president Mark Jessop said the increased number of animals at this year’s show was a big attraction among patrons. LAST Saturday the Primary Industries Minister, Guy Barnett, announced a committee to look at the red-meat sector.
The recent events around the Devonport abattoir once again highlighted that the sector is vulnerable to external influences, particularly from outside Tasmania.
As a tate we should actively ensure our industries are sustainable and can stand alone in the Tasmanian context. This new committee is charged with FERGIE FORCE: The grand parade at the Huon Show last weekend. Inset, Dean Elliott with his show champion Australorp. looking at some of these elements. For its part the TFGA supports any initiative which enhances and produces better outcomes for the red meat industry.
To begin with, the task will be to have a thorough and complete understanding of all elements of the sector including things such as market segmentation, freight logistics, export potentials and other elements influencing the sector.
We must avoid running head on into actions without a comprehensive understanding of the problems. We now have an opportunity to address structural deficits and to develop a plan for the future.
We need to better understand what motivates producers to choose red meat as an enterprise and what motivates selling and market choices. A multitude of variables influence us as farmers and we need to have a very clear understanding of what they are and where they come from. Recent research into pasture and livestock productivity in Tasmania has uncovered some surprising and concerning information.
It is clear that agriculture in general requires improved business management and a clearer perspective of goals and production targets. Farmers need to be profitable and sustainable and must operate on sound business principles.
The idea we can continue to fly by the seat of our pants in a contemporary environment is unsustainable in the long run and destined to fail. Any decisions around the red-meat industry need to be thought through and have a clear focus on what is being achieved and the expectations and aspirations of producers, agents and processors. We also need to understand what consumers are looking for in a final product and their expectations of how red meat is produced and processed. In today’s environment, if you ignore consumers, you are ignoring your market. The TFGA is ready to assist the committee and will also be conducting its own discussion on achieving these outcomes.