The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) was lauded by a range of speakers including Agriculture Minister Murray Watt for its capacity to drive industry change and positioning at this week’s Meat Processing and Export Conference (MPEC) on the Gold Coast.

A team of intellects on stage ranging from political commentator and author Peter Hartcher, panel host Stan Grant, economist Saul Eslake, Australia’s inaugural special representative for agriculture Su McCluskey, former minister Joel Fitzgibbon and KPMG’s Asian business expert Doug Ferguson provided thought-provoking discussion that has set the bar high for the organisation and future events.

“The energy, insights, and enthusiasm we’ve seen at MPEC 2023 highlight AMIC’s role as the voice of the meat industry. The event has set a new benchmark for what an industry conference should be,” said AMIC CEO, Patrick Hutchinson.

“What we heard included some very wise counsel from former minister Joel Fitzgibbon who reminded us of the need to build political capital to secure the industry’s success.

“He stressed the need for proactive ministerial engagement to solve pressing challenges – and I think that’s exactly what were able to do via this event, which really has reaffirmed AMIC’s position as a leading and trusted voice within the industry.”

The strength of cooperation between AMIC and its counterpart organisations in NZ and the US was on show during the first of the conference’s Stan Grant-led panel discussions, with Mr Hutchinson joined on stage by the North American Meat Institute and Meat Industry Association of NZ in a conversation that highlighted how advocacy challenges were the same the world-over.

“We might be highly competitive when it comes to finding new markets for our respective product, but we’ve shown that there are plenty of matters we need to collaborate on – particularly animal welfare, environmental and labour challenges,” Mr Hutchinson said.

The MPEC event was preceded by a Meat Business Women master class training program that also introduced delegates from the next generation to senior leaders and pressing industry challenges and opportunities.

The event culminated in the Americold Gala dinner where Midfield Group’s Noel Kelson was announced as the recipient of the prestigious AMIC distinguished service award; and acknowledgements were made to outgoing board chairman Gary Hardwick cand National Processing Council chair Terry Nolan.

“Now that we have re-set the tone and purpose of this event after an eight-year hiatus we are ready to make it a regular fixture and a valuable opportunity to bring the issues and opportunities of the Australian meat processing sector to the fore, whilst at the same time use the event to celebrate the success and innovation of this major contributor to Australia’s economy,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Presentations and photographs from the conference are now available at and initial expressions of interest in partnering AMIC for the next event should be directed to [email protected]




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.

Media contact

Keith Drain, Communications Manager

M: 0429 040 128

E: [email protected]