MORE than 400 red meat industry stakeholders from across Australia have engaged in the Red Meat Advisory Council’s recent round of Meat Industry Strategic Plan workshops, which concluded with a 50-strong attendance at Hahndorf, South Australia on Tuesday.
The SA meeting attracted the biggest audience of all 13 regional meetings held over the past six weeks.
The workshops have been specifically designed by Red Meat Advisory Council to capture the direct input of industry stakeholders into the development of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan.
RMAC chairman Ross Keane said he was pleased with level of engagement achieved during the consultation process.
“While we would always like to see greater and greater levels of grassroots involvement in the industry’s strategic planning activities, we’ve certainly been pleased with quantity, and in particular the quality, of feedback across the board,” he said.
“To have engaged well over 400 producers, processors and exporters of Australian red meat and livestock, plus a range of other important stakeholders, has been a terrific result in a relatively short time, and with the resources we have available.”
“Such a level of engagement wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of our collaborating industry organisations and departments across every State and Territory,” Mr Keane said.
Stakeholder feedback collected during the initial consultation phase has covered a full spectrum of issues, with some of the most common themes including:
- The need to drive financial viability across the supply chain, including capturing the opportunities associated with demonstrating the industry’s broader sustainability credentials
- The importance of positioning the industry as a preferred career choice for young people entering the workforce; and,
- Ensuring the industry’s interests are being efficiently represented through a strong leadership structure across all levels of the industry.
RMAC chief executive Angus Hobson, who has been responsible for co-ordinating the development of MISP4, emphasised the importance of the next steps in the plan’s evolution.
“Now the hard work begins. As was the objective, we’ve generated a massive amount of information through the workshops. The challenge now lies in distilling that down to key areas of investment that the industry could consider during the course of MISP4, and beyond,” Mr Hobson said.
“In essence, the next phase of the work will be about putting a dollar figure – and thus an objective ranking – on the ideas and issues that have been collected over the past couple of months.
“That’s the only way we can accurately, and transparently, identify the real game-changers in terms of where and how much value will be generated across the industry,” Mr Hobson explained.
In keeping with what has been an overt commitment to build engagement and buy-in during the development of MISP4, RMAC chair Ross Keane emphasised that the next phases in developing MISP4 will include further consultation with industry and other stakeholders.
“The regional workshops are by no means the end of the road as far as stakeholder input is concerned.”
“The upcoming evaluation activities will draw on experts from right across the industry, and the results of those activities – that is, their recommended areas of investment – will be road-tested with workshop participants as well as stakeholder groups more broadly,” he said.
- An update on the development of MISP4, and an outline of the issues identified in the regional workshops, will be included in the fourth annual policy forum being hosted by RMAC on Thursday 13 November, in Sydney. The forum, which will include a panel of representatives from across the industry’s Peak Industry Councils, will run from 8am to 10:30am at the The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW, and precedes the 2014 Meat and Livestock Australia AGM.
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