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Cattle Council happy with draft findings putting focus on producer needs

Cattle Council president Howard Smith.
Cattle Council president Howard Smith. Contributed

CATTLE Council has welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission interim report into the cattle and beef sector, saying it puts the focus back on producers and their needs to run profitable farming businesses.

Cattle Council president Howard Smith said the interim report echoed producer concerns and recognised the issues holding back the beef industry.

"Cattle Council will take its time to consider the draft report and its recommendations carefully however, at first glance, many of the recommendations align with key policies Cattle Council is pushing for and we believe will benefit the whole of industry.

"The ACCC have recommended the industry move to objective carcase measurement as soon as possible, which would provide benefits to both producers and processors, and create efficiencies across the supply chain," Mr Smith said.

Objective carcase measurement is key to moving industry towards value-based marketing, and away from the current price-averaging system.

The draft report also recommended improvements be made to existing market reporting through standardising, to enable effective comparison to be made.

"Improvements to market reporting and information have been a focus of Cattle Council's recent work with Meat and Livestock Australia."

"We will continue to drive this further, developing market reporting and tools that deliver outcomes producers but do not add regulatory or administrative burden to the industry," Mr Smith said.

"Easy-to-use tools and market reporting that can assist producers in making informed business decisions is essential to the future profitability of the industry."

Other findings in the report outlined the need for Cattle Council and other bodies to lead a better flow of information and producer education surrounding price grids and carcase feedback.

Cattle Council has already instructed MLA to explore avenues for more producer education and will be seeking more information on the status of the project.

The market study opened for submissions in April 2016 and was set up to examine competition, efficiency, transparency, and trading issues in cattle and beef supply chains.

"When the study was announced I said it would be beneficial to get an independent assessment of the health of the Australian beef market," Mr Smith said.

"As Cattle Council look to the future of the industry we are pleased to see the report bringing the focus back to the producer and improving the balance of risk within the supply chain."

"Making better on-farm decisions can result in positive flow-on effects for the whole supply chain."

Topics:  accc cattle cattle council profit


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