One of the main points of the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) White Paper was the streamlining of industry representation.
RMAC independent chair Don Mackay said: “The White Paper recommends three new streamlined and unified industry bodies within the MOU: Red Meat Australia, a single research body and a single red meat integrity forum.
“Over many years, industry has been extremely frustrated by too many red meat industry organisations, the lack of accountability and return on investment back to business from levies; and an uncoordinated and fractured approach to dealing with the Federal Government.”
Mackay said that just voice is needed for the Australian red meat industry. “The White Paper recommends that Red Meat Australia be the single voice for Aussie red meat businesses, be the ultimate determinant of levy investment and deliver the public policy, social licence and domestic and international marketing roles.”
Chair of the taskforce that prepared the White Paper and lead reviewer Jim Varghese AM, said the White Paper addresses industry-based funding and representational issues that have been long-identified.
“Our consultation with industry and business clearly highlighted the need for reform to ensure a stronger capacity for the industry to manage and address current and future issues like climate change, animal activism, technological disruption and in vitro meats.
“Our review showed a strong appetite for change born from the achievements of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) and the Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the red meat business community.
“This White Paper provides recommendations for the red meat industry to drive social and economic prosperity for the industry specifically and the Australian community as an industry of national significance,” said Varghese.
Australian Meat Industry Council CEO Patrick Hutchinson welcomed the White Paper’s proposals. “We commend the Independent Taskforce for its work in gathering and assessing the wide feedback from across the sector. We support the broad aims of this exercise, which is about promoting a stronger, more competitive and streamlined industry,” he said.
“We’ll be going out to members in the coming weeks and months to guage their response to the White Paper and in due course will share our thoughts on the best way forward to ensure greater returns for our members, while driving us all towards a high performing domestic and internationally recognised red meat industry.”
Other recommendations in the White Paper include: Red Meat Australia becoming the single conduit for levies collected from business; the research functions of AMPC, LiveCorp and MLA would be combined into a single red meat research body and a renewed plain English red meat Memorandum of Understanding that is well understood by Australia’s 82,500 red meat businesses.