THE CATTLE of Australia Council welcomes the Federal Government’s official response to the Senate inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector, which has now been published online.

While not a core focus of the inquiry, Cattle Council believes the Federal Government’s statement regarding beef producer representation is confirmation that the Council is on the right path in overseeing producer-driven representation on a national level.

“Cattle Council is committed to building on its proud legacy and work to ensure that industry representation in the future is structurally transparent and directly accountable to producers,” Cattle Council CEO Margo Andrae said.

“Our plans to restructure Cattle Council are well developed and I think the Federal Government’s recommendations to the inquiry acknowledge that progress.”

More broadly, Ms Andrae said Cattle Council was focused on driving positive outcomes for cattle producers, as active stakeholders in the wider red meat supply chain.

“First and foremost at an industry and government level, productivity and profitability must be promoted in everything we do,” Ms Andrae said.

“We need to grow the herd, to give grass-finishers, lot feeders, processors and exporters confidence in our supply capabilities, so that they continue to invest and pursue new markets. And the imperatives of productivity and supply-chain wide collaboration are never more apparent than during drought.

“The modern red-meat supply chain is highly integrated. The success of the production sector is intrinsically linked to the fortunes of lot feeders, processors and exporters. The many ways producers work in partnership with other supply chain players reflects those links – and that collaboration is replicated at industry level in terms of advocacy and lobbying.”

Ms Andrae said Cattle Council supported the public comments of Australian Meat Industry Council CEO Patrick Hutchinson in responding to the government’s response to the Senate inquiry.

“AMIC is right when it says the days of ‘producer versus processor’ are long gone,” Ms Andrae said.

“Producer interests flow on well beyond the farm gate and, on behalf of producers, Cattle Council will continue to advocate alongside AMIC to strengthen our processing sector.

“Protecting our ‘clean, green’ reputation, opening up access to new markets and finding ways to ensure our supply chain costs are more globally competitive remains the shared focus of Cattle Council and other peak industry councils across the red meat sector.

“That united approach ensures producers are getting the best possible respresentation nationally, and that we continue to have strong, bi-partisan support for the whole livestock and red meat sector.”

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