AMID fierce domestic competition for northern cattle, which has created prohibitively high prices for South East Asian importers and driven down 2021 live export volumes, NTLEA CEO Tom Dawkins told association’s AGM that its mandate for the coming 12 months and beyond was clear.
“When our supply chain businesses here and in-market are experiencing duress due to extreme prices, regulatory pressures or the disruptions of a global pandemic, we need to ensure the northern live trade remains on track strategically and with a long-term focus,” he said.
“Wherever we find ourselves in the market cycle, the enduring imperatives of the northern livestock export industry remain compelling.
“Fundamentally, northern Australia is increasing its capacity for beef cattle production and the collective appetite for fresh beef amongst our South East Asia customers continues to grow.”
Mr Dawkins said a highlight of the year, especially when travel was limited and a number of industry events had been cancelled, was hosting Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud at the Berrimah Export Yards in September.
“We really were very grateful Minister Littleproud had the chance to spend a couple of hours at the yards, all very informally over morning smoko, to meet with frontline, operations members of the northern live trade,” Mr Dawkins said.
“It left a very positive impression on the Minister and painted a clear picture about the way the northern livestock export industry – including our people and our infrastructure – will continue to be a major driver of innovation and investment in agricultural supply chains in northern Australia.”
“The Berrimah Export Yards continue to be a tremendous asset for the NTLEA. We’re very grateful to Brendon Lewis, Ben Giblett and the rest of the team at Berrimah Livestock because their enthusiasm for our industry and their pride in the Berrimah yards help make it a genuine commercial showpiece for the northern livestock export trade.”
Following the AGM, the NTLEA co-hosted a sundowner social evening with the Young Livestock Exporters Network. The well attended event was held at The Darwin Club, with Charles Vaughan (Australian Cattle Enterprises) and Mark Hogan (Frontier International) proposing a vote of thanks to event sponsor Entegra Signature Structures.