Live Export

Littleproud launches new Vietnam abattoir training program


THE Australian Government has launched a new program to improve training for workers in Vietnamese abattoirs handling imported Australian cattle.

MLA’s general manager for international markets, Michael Finucan and Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud in Vietnam last Friday.

The program was launched at the Vissan Abattoir in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday by federal agriculture minister David Littleproud during a four-day tour of Vietnam.

Mr Littleproud said the Managing Abattoirs, Training and Exchange of Skills (MATES) program is focused on upskilling Vietnam’s workforce to international animal welfare and food safety standards are met.

The program is being funded as part of part of the Federal Government’s five-year Aus4Skills program, a five-year $146 million investment focused on upskilling Vietnam’s workforce.*

“We also want to assure Australian cattle farmers that animals are treated humanely,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The MATES program, funded by Australia, will improve key integrity aspects of the live export supply chain in Vietnam and to modernise the supply chain from production to distribution.

“It will also assist industry to meet consumer expectations when it comes to food quality and safety.

“Australia is helping Vietnam to rise to the challenge – delivering training courses, improving abattoir and feedlot infrastructure and providing technical support on animal welfare.

Vietnam is Australia’s second largest live cattle export market, worth $243 million in 2016/17.

Mr Littleproud said the investment was an example of a ‘win-win’ collaborative relationship, improving food production integrity practices in Vietnam and export opportunities for Australia.

Minister Littleproud also visited FutureMilk, a 100 per cent Australian owned dairy company.

“Visiting FutureMilk left me with a feeling of pride in how an Australian company can export expertise and entrepreneurship and provide a significant boost to jobs and industry in Vietnam.

“FutureMilk runs more than 1000 dairy cows and employs over 70 staff, many local women who would not otherwise have the opportunity to earn a wage.”


* An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that the Federal Government is providing $146m to fund the Vietnam abattoir training program. Rather, the funding is one component of the Federal Government’s larger five-year $146 million Federal Government Aus4Skills program, upskilling Vietnam’s broader workforce.


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  1. Peter, 24/12/2019

    “a 5 year $146M! investment…”

    So what about now? Money.over.morales Oz et al animalAg farmers still sending their helpless animals to Viet sledgehammer hell holes in the meantime! Sickheads.

  2. Jenny Brown, 01/05/2018

    Does this need for investment in training mean that the government is actually acknowledging that there are currently issues and that cattle are not being handled humanely?

  3. Frank Russo, 28/04/2018

    This story is totally unbelievable! The National Party obviously don’t realise the status of the Australian meat industry and what $146 million would do to boost independent local butchers, producers, procesers and or farmers; not to mention promote and train local Australians in these areas. With so many traders and abattoirs closing down – probably all over the country -because of financial and or compliance issues, as well as no one interested in the continuance of this side of the industry, shouldn’t we be taking care of what’s happening in our own backyard?

    Surely it would be better for the government to take over a failing business and turn it into a training center for all elements of the Meat Industry in Australia State Wide – just to insure continuity, expertise and employment within the industry in our own country – not to mention succession planning? So many trades are dying because there is no national federal plan to train young people in how to become qualified in the skills of the industries still operating within Australia.

    Wouldn’t it be prudent to invest in Australia’s own industries and train our own people, before extending a financial hand to other countries?

    Food for thought………..

  4. Carolyn Bird, 23/04/2018

    How about a few dollars for the Burrumbullock Hay Runners helping drought stricken farmers, do they need help with a few dollars, no, let’s send $146 million to Vietnam and if they cannot meet our standards of humanely killing our live stock, stop sending live stock to them, frozen carcasses or nothing.

  5. Sharon Ward, 22/04/2018

    I am sick of the Australian Government spending our tax dollars on overseas countries. We have great need here to support farmers, homeless, aged, disabled, subsidising the ridiculous energy prices we are forced to pay due to Govt decisions. The list goes on. This Government is out of touch with average Australians who are doing it tough. Not for profits are struggling to assist the people who come to them for help because they don’t have the funds. Aussie abattoir workers are unemployed because we send so much livestock overseas now. Wake up Australian politicians and start using our money to help Aussies and our Aussie businesses in need.

  6. Steve Adams, 18/04/2018

    Nice to see MLA supporting this. The next thing to happen will be a MSA (MSA/V) program developed for Vietnam It shouldn’t cost MLA much, as all the hard work has been done in Australia on Australian cattle anyway, i am sure processors wont mind this! Only need to train a few Chiller Assessors/MSA graders. At the end of the day it will sell more cattle in the market. A win-win for cattle producers all round. Aussie Beef exported from Vietnam will be on its way soon to a customer in China, Thailand etc etc. Aussie Cattle equals Aussie beef?

  7. Dick Morgan, 18/04/2018

    About half the cattle population in Australia is in the northern half! What is lacking is capacity to kill, process, freeze and store the beef. The animals have to be carted to coastal regions where these facilities exist.

    Unfortunately inland Australia is lacking in infrastructure – roads, rail, bridges, dams, power. All the things that are needed for large scale industrial activity. I would like to see government money spent on these things in order to encourage private equity to construct and develop all the facilities to kill,process,freeze and store the end product. Even feed lots if required.

    This is where the activity should take place. Where the cattle are! Instead of transporting them long distances to coastal abbatiors at great cost and loss of weight and condition.

    If Australian resident meat workers are reluctant to work in isolated inland locations dare I suggest that we allow foreign labour to do it? This is where the money being expended to train Vietmanise meat workers could be spent.

    There is a very good example of this happening in Victoria right now in a duck processing plant.

  8. Stuart Castricum, 18/04/2018

    This is a clear return on investment for Australian taxpayers if it’s federally funded and not livestock levy payers. The beneficiaries are the Vietnamese meat workers and the Vietnamese. My wish is that we don’t discriminate or exclude all our customers. The Government surely must apply equal funding of our money to all our overseas customers as we are about equality and political correctness. It would be absolutely absurd to invest this money locally because we don’t raise money for such purposes. The LNP should not support the Australian Meat Industry because … because .. oh stuff it ! We get stuck into China for funding activities in the Pacific … we are just doing the same … and the strategy behind it is that the meat will be our best defense strategy?? I give up. There is no cost benefit here for Australian tax payers nor the meat industry. We are training people in another country so they can process our (and their) animals nicely! What a joke! Very “little” to be “proud” about.

  9. Julie Smith, 17/04/2018

    Why on earth are we spending taxpayer dollars on regulating live export industry and training overseas workers when we could put the money into streamlining the local industry. Yes, it costs businesses to have ‘onerous regulatory regimes’, but that’s the price they pay for consumer approval and consumer confidence in the Australian meat industry. I am sure Chinese dairy regulations are cheaper than ours but their customers prefer the regulated product from Australia because they have more trust in the standards !

  10. Sue Grant, 17/04/2018

    This is a great example of the National Party doing what it does best.Throwing other peoples’ money at another one of their idiotic,hair brained schemes.

  11. Paul Franks, 17/04/2018

    Ivan, I think Australian abattoirs are struggling because of onerous regulatory regimes they must comply with.

    Much like in the past we used to make so much here, but it moved off shore when regulations and costs became too onerous, the same is happening now for the beef processing sector. It may not be long until we are importing Australian produced beef, but fattened and processed in another country.

  12. IVAN COULTER, 16/04/2018

    why do we have a spare $146M to train other countries in abattoir production workers yet can’t find a $1 to help fund any struggling abattoir here in Australia who need to train workers, when i asked the question of agricultural dept 2yrs ago of why do not the federal govt spend more money to process feral animals instead of finding $M’s for culling to rot i was told Australian govt cannot been seen to be supporting private enterprises!!

  13. Neil Barrie, 16/04/2018

    Great to see the Australian government committing resources to such an important live cattle destination for Australia. We have been active for a number of years in the Vietnam market with little recognition of the need for animal welfare and supply chain safety in such a rapidly developing market for Australian beef. New initiatives clearly reflect a sophistication in supply chain integrity to meet the greater sophistication of a rapidly emerging consumer population to our near north. MLA should be commended for this initiative.

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