23rd January 2019

For immediate release

FOR INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES WITH AUSTRALIAN MEAT INDUSTRY COUNCIL CEO PATRICK HUTCHINSON, PLEASE CALL SARAH CRAIG ON 0403 077 478

Australia’s under-pressure red meat supply chain – an escalating issue for rural communities and farmers according to AMIC

  • Labor Party launches Red Meat Strategy Discussion Paper
  • AMIC warns of dangers of failing to support the full red meat supply chain

AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, commenting on today’s launch of the Labor Party’s Red Meat Strategy Discussion Paper in Gladstone, Queensland, said, “We applaud the Labor party for taking this first step in the right direction for rural Australia.”

He continued, “The severity of the drought has reverberated right up the red meat industry supply chain; and therefore it’s a positive move that Labor is taking is a total-supply-chain view. Currently, assistance only seems to be available to farmers but as the red meat industry from the farm gate to plate is one of the biggest rural and regional employers and Australia’s largest agriculture exporter, greater focus and support is now essential from all political parties.”

AMIC’s 2,000-strong membership base includes processors, smallgoods manufacturers and independent local butchers, many of whom are small business owners and AMIC will be working with Labor to ensure they are represented in the consultation and planning process.  

AMIC has long advocated for the reduction of the significant regulatory burden facing the red meat industry.  Also, AMIC will work with Labor to explore in more detail issues such as increasing female representation in the sector, carbon reduction, labour deficits caused by a visa program unfit for purpose, non-tariff export issues and excessive operating costs such as energy. 

Mr Hutchison commented, “As an example, Gladstone may have been given the go ahead by State Government for a high-tech abattoir and meat processing facility; however the operator will need a significant amount of support to find skilled workers – local and international – given the industry-wide issue of processors struggling to fill 3,500 positions daily to be at optimum capacity.  

“Unfortunately, red meat industry is stymied by red tape, a local workforce that doesn’t value working in the red meat industry and an overseas workforce that has been made harder to access.” 

Mr Hutchison added, “As our industry is aware, the future growth, sustainability and global competitiveness of Australia‘s red meat sector will be as a result of red meat industry’s pursuit of quality, product integrity, productivity gains and innovation across all areas of the supply chain.  However, investment support is vitally needed.  

“We all want farmers to thrive, but the reality is that a weakened supply chain will be the next crisis for farmers if urgent action isn’t taken.”

 (ends)

Further information, please contact:
Sarah Craig, Director, Sefiani Communications
M: 0403 077 478; E: [email protected]

About AMIC (Australian Meat Industry Council)

AMIC is the only industry association representing the post-farm gate to plate Australian red meat industry.  Its members include processors, smallgoods manufacturers and independent butchers.