The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) is calling for action to address the significant impacts being caused by the escalating dispute between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). The ongoing industrial action has seen significant disruptions across Australia’s sea freight terminals.
AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson says that Australia exported $15 billion of beef, lamb and goatmeat to over 100 markets in FY23, adding that “If DP World and the MUA cannot come to a resolution, we urge the Federal Government to step in as this needs to be resolved as soon as possible to prevent further damage to not only the red meat industry, but the entire Australian economy.”
“Cross-border trade underpins the employment of hundreds of thousands of people across the red meat supply chain and provides the economic lifeblood of Australia’s rural farming communities. This ongoing and escalating dispute is severely impacting the entire red meat supply chain and ultimately risking meat industry jobs, and Australia’s international reputation.” said Mr Hutchinson.
A recent AMIC member survey on the impacts of the ongoing industrial action at DP World terminals has outlined that Australian meat exporters are feeling the impacts of this issue strongly within their businesses. The survey revealed that exporters are facing the following impacts:
- Needing to consistently remove containers from terminals due to over month-long delays at ports, resulting in shelf-life expirations for chilled meat consignments
- Meat processing and exporting businesses are experiencing excess inventory due to being unable to load out product caused by vessel omissions and delays as a result of the industrial action
- Significant increases and additional costs to export associated with the disruptions and logistics.
- Lack of availability of imported inputs are putting operations at breaking point, leading to potential manufacturing shut downs
“This dispute has severely disrupted the ability to trade perishable goods, particularly meat. The inability to get containers moving through ports and the lack of access to shipping slots has hamstrung Australian meat exporters and added unnecessary costs.
“This situation is creating disruption up and down the supply chain and compounding other stresses to global shipping, such as the Red Sea shipping crisis, ultimately resulting in significant impacts to the trade operations of Australian meat and smallgoods processors.
“Australian meat businesses that rely on imports and exports desperately need the industrial action to be resolved. Improved trade relationships and access to export markets accounts for nothing if Australia cannot reliably and predictably move goods in and out of the country.
“This issue isn’t only affecting the red meat industry, but it is damaging Australia’s reputation as reliable trading partner.” Mr Hutchinson said.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Keith Drain – Communications Manager
M: 0429 040 128