Meat industry face major challenges

Posted by James Ferre on 4th March 2010

Major challenges facing the Australian meat industry in the short term include the high Australian dollar and increased competition in Australia’s major markets in Asia, according to Paul Morris, Deputy Executive Director of ABARE. Addressing delegates at the ABARE Outlook conference in Canberra, Mr Morris said over the medium term, rising incomes and population growth will increase demand for meat within our region and Australia is well placed to supply these growing markets.

“Lamb prices are forecast to remain at relatively high levels, although supplies are likely to remain tight,” Mr Morris said.

“Growth in Australia’s exports of live cattle and sheep will help to support higher saleyard prices and should not unduly compete with processed meat exports as they served different cultural needs and market segments.”

Jackie McArthur, Senior Vice President at McDonalds Australia, told delegates of the importance of reliable access to high-quality meat and beef products for the McDonalds restaurant chain.

“An assured supply of high-quality beef is vitally important to McDonalds. Our recent campaign launch of certified premium Angus beef has been a great success and resulted in strong growth in beef sales in Australia and New Zealand,” Ms McArthur said.

“Australian sourced beef is important to us, with two out of three McDonalds restaurants globally using Australian beef to some extent.”

Aaron Iori, Regional Manager of South East Asia and Greater China at Meat and Livestock Australia, discussed the rising consumer awareness of beef and growing markets in emerging Asia.

“Emerging Asia will be the centrepiece of a global increase in population over the next decade, accounting for 58 per cent of the world’s total growth in population,” Mr Iori said.

“The Asian countries with younger populations, such as China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, will largely account for this increasing consumer base.

“Australia is well placed to export beef to emerging Asia due to its proximity to those markets and growing Asian consumer awareness of the quality of our product.”