The''status quo'' will continue for the coming sheep and
beef season, Meat Industry Excellence chairman Richard Young
Although it was hoped some form of industry consolidation
would have taken place and a new supply model implemented by
this season, it had not eventuated, Mr Young said.
Meat Industry Excellence obtained a nationwide mandate for
change in the industry from farmers earlier this year,
following meetings throughout the country.
The group set out its vision for the industry with six key
principles, which included a consolidation of 80% of the red
meat industry to be processed and marketed by one ''coalition
of the willing'', contracting of stock to specification and a
need for farmers to commit to a company.
While no visible change had taken place in the industry, the
group had ''spent a lot of time over the last few months
getting ... stuff in order'' and had a ''few strategies in
place'', Mr Young said.
He was not ready to comment on what those strategies were,
but he was comfortable Meat Industry Excellence and its talks
with meat processors were ''progressing well''.
He hoped farmers would remain on-board and committed to
''We are asking farmers to take a long-term view of the
industry,'' Mr Young said.
He advised farmers to ''commit to one company'' for the
coming season to allow processors to ''align their business
to their stock flows''.
Until the issue of oversupply was addressed, farmers would be
''peasants in our own stable'', he said.
He believed a change in behaviour by farmers and processors
was necessary to rebuild trust in the industry and was an
''imperative to move forward''.
Meat Industry Excellence would outline its strategies for the
industry in the coming months, he said.
- by Timothy Brown