Australian grass fed beef producers will be represented at the series of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission forums around the nation by Cattle Council of Australia.
The forums are integral to the ACCC’s Agricultural Enforcement and Engagement Unit’s recently announced market study into the cattle and beef markets.
The study will examine competition, efficiency, transparency and trading issues in cattle and beef supply chains.
Cattle Council of Australia will represent producers at the first forum to be held today in Wodonga, VIC, followed by Toowoomba, QLD, on June 10 and Dubbo, NSW, on June 24.
Cattle Council president Howard Smith said it was vital that the voice of grass fed beef producers was heard and encouraged them to attend.
“Producer’s voices at the forums will give the commissioners a true understanding of issues within the beef market and also an understanding of their rights,’’ Mr Smith said.
He said transparency among market participants was critical to the future of the red meat supply chain.
“Cattle Council would like to see a voluntary prescribed industry code established for the Australian beef industry supply chain under the Consumer and Competition Act,’’ he said.
“The code would set an industry standard for demonstrating price transparency and provide an avenue for industry stakeholders to seek recourse for non-compliance.’’
Cattle Council has called on the ACCC to provide assistance to producers so they understand their rights, obligations and options within the contractual arrangements to enhance effective competition across the value chain.
“The educational assistance must provide information on contracts and terms,’’ Mr Smith said.
“This will allow producers to identify terms not in their interest and negotiate better outcomes.’’
Cattle Council will also be urging the ACCC to reform its assessment of mergers due to the unique nature of the beef supply chain.
“Further reforms to the Competition and Consumer Act are required to address market consolidation through merger acquisition creep,’’ Mr Smith said.
Today’s forum in Wodonga will be held at the Wodonga Football and Sports Club, Vermont Street, at 1pm-3.30pm.
The forums will continue at:
- Toowoomba, Friday, June 10, 9.30am-12pm, City Golf Club, 254 South Street.
- Mt Gambier, Monday, June 20, 11.30am-2pm, Mt Gambier RSL, 16 Sturt Street.
- Dubbo, Friday, June 24, 12pm-2.30pm, Sporties Dubbo Bowling Club, 101-103 Erskine Street.
- Bunbury, Friday, July 1, 9.30am-12pm, Bunbury Trotting Club, Donaldson Park, Milligan Street.
For further details, contact Caitlin Boucher at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 6269 5600 or 0405 567 991.