The 121-page report outlines eight priorities Australia’s livestock industry should push for to enhance an industry that supports 100,000 jobs and generates AU$2bn in annual revenue.
“This report crystallises the significant value of the Australia’s livestock export industry and backs up existing research, which robustly debunks any doubts about the economic importance of the live trade to the national red meat value chain,” said Simon Westaway, CEO of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council.
“Not only does our industry deliver significant and growing economic value nationally and regionally, livestock exporters share a number of strategic objectives with our partners in the meat processing sectors.”
130 countries exporting livestock
With growing competition in many international livestock markets, the removal of trade restrictions has enabled meat producers to operate multinational supply chains, with livestock crossing international borders multiple times before becoming the meat we eat. But this can sometimes create problems for Australian livestock exporters.
There are now 130 countries regularly exporting livestock and this has grown “significantly” from 2001, according to the report
Australia’s livestock trade is one of the country’s most important rural exports, alongside cotton, sugar and canola oil. And the research paper’s targets to maintain and grow the country’s position globally were described by Westaway as a “vital ingredient” to ensure Australia remains a “global leader” in livestock exports.
The report found beef cattle exports were worth AU$1.35bn, dairy cattle exports worth AU$170m, and sheep and goat exports worth AU$260m per year.
The Australian Farm Institute for the Livestock Export Program, a collaborative initiative between LiveCorp and levy board Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), produced the report.
The eight priorities
• Improve transport infrastructure
• Understand the rapid urbanisation and growing wealth in many export markets
• Continue to implement world-leading welfare standards
• Encourage other countries to adopt the standards and make exporters responsible for animal welfare through the supply chain to the point of slaughter
• Livestock exporters and meat processors, oft at loggerheads, should identify common interests
• Help maintain Australia’s relative disease-free status
• Strengthen social licences to operate
• Help livestock producers understand how exporting improves profitability