The Year Ahead: RMAC Independent Chair Don Mackay

2017 was an extraordinary year for Australia’s red meat and livestock industries.

Demand for our outstanding products continues to be strong with farm gate prices consolidating for beef, sheep and goat meat.

Our economic track record continued to deliver with $60 billion in turnover and a direct workforce of 178,000 Australians and 405, 000 Australians employed in total across the red meat food chain.

From jobs, to growth, to the meals 24 million Australians (and customers in over 100 countries) enjoy every day, red meat touches every part of the Australian success story.
Red meat matters when it comes to feeding our nation; and making Australia a prosperous one at that. With this in mind there is a lot at ‘steak;’ and this year RMAC remains committed to providing strong leadership for our six-member bodies and all members of this great industry.

Launched in 2015, the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (MISP2020) identified a $7 billion-dollar growth opportunity for the 75,000 red meat businesses in this country. A partnership of nine industry partners, the MISP2020 guides strategic investment of industry led research, marketing, policy and industry engagement to achieve our collective $7 billion-dollar goal.

It is without doubt RMACs six members, together with our three industry service providers the Australian Meat Processing Corporation, LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia, have collectively prioritised and delivered absolutely world class research.

But this body of work must be put into practice across our industry in order for us to achieve our collective goal of unlocking $7-billion in growth. Real gains in commercialisation, extension and adoption across the supply chain must be made as an industry-government collective.

Feeding Our Nation 2018 identifies in 26 key actions how the Federal Government can help deliver on these growth targets from ‘gate to plate’ in 2018 and beyond. We commend these to the Turnbull-Joyce Government.

But as an industry we recognise the need to always be vigilant. We must plan for the next wave of both opportunity and threats to our industry.

We simply must stay ahead of strong competition from competing countries and competing proteins. This will only be achieved with substantial investment by both industry and government to capitalise on the momentum achieved to date.

That’s why in 2018, RMAC will be collaborating with the whole of industry to develop our next strategic plan which will provide a roadmap for growth out to 2030. Our target now is $7 billion dollars in growth; let’s see what are the new gains that can be made moving forward.

Together with our members, RMAC looks forward to partnering with the Australian Government in 2018 in Feeding Our Nation.

Let’s collectively build on the outstanding work already done and continue to deliver substantial outcomes for the Australian red meat and livestock and the millions of consumers of our wonderful products in Australia and the world.

Don Mackay
RMAC Independent Chair