The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), chaired by Mr Don Mackay, yesterday (27 November) convened a roundtable of all signatories to the Red Meat MOU on A better red meat future: A White Paper for the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) (the White Paper) (July 2019).

There was a broad discussion in relation to the key recommendations from the White Paper including:

  • The need to engage and provide value for levy payers first as our ‘true north’ moving forward, and improve the delivery of advocacy across the sector
  • The need for beef, sheepmeat, goat meat producers, livestock exports and processors to retain identity and oversight of their own levy expenditure
  • The need for a strong and coordinated industry organisation led by red meat business people
  • The various proposals contained within the White Paper and the feedback received from industry members, and
  • The need for the Australian red meat industry, as a collective, to demonstrate leadership in RDC modernisation and other forums.

The Australian Livestock Export Council, Australian Lot Feeders Association, Australian Meat Industry Council, Australian Meat Processing Corporation, Cattle Council of Australia, Department of Agriculture, LiveCorp, Meat and Livestock Australia, Red Meat Advisory Council and Sheep Producers Australia were in attendance. The Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre was also invited to present.


Roundtable on industry and government views post White Paper

  • NOTED: Supply chain segments needing to retain oversight of their own competitive areas across sheepmeat, grass and grain fed cattle, livestock exporters, processors.
  • ACTION: Further scoping for NewCo 3 – a single integrity organisation – will be progressed with work currently underway by PwC coordinated by Meat and Livestock Australia; and addressing and solving key business issues across the board for industry and government including labour, energy, inspection fees.
  • NOTED: The need for a Red Meat Australia style organisation that is led by representative leaders, not a skills-based board; for policy, advocacy, issues management and strategy; and the need for a skills-based board to manage any levy and tax payer investments that are currently administered through the Research and Development Corporations.
  • NOTED: The value of well-resourced and high performing Peak Industry Councils.

RDC Modernisation: Looking beyond red meat

  • NOTED: Red meat should consider taking a leadership role in the $100 billion dollar agriculture plan, and the RDC Modernisation project. This could include broad scale whole of agricultural and food projects including improved horizontal research coordination for sheep (meat and wool) and ruminants, and major whole of agriculture issues.

Next Steps

  • AGREED: Feedback would be collated on NewCo1 and NewCo2 and refined with the ‘north star’ being value for levy payers in any determinations regarding structure, culture and communications. NewCo3 is regarded as a sensible approach.
  • AGREED: A second industry-government roundtable will be held in Brisbane on 6th December 2019.