Beef 2021

Family-scale farm enterprises in great shape for the future, ANZ report says

Jon Condon, 04/05/2021

The reinvigorated family cattle farm sector is growing in strength as a vital part of Australia’s booming cattle industry.

That’s one of the findings of a new report on Australia’s beef and cattle industry, released this morning by banker ANZ at Beef 2021 in Rockhampton.

ANZ director of agribusiness Insights Michael Whitehead said the family farm model was continuing to grow in strength, and was increasingly well positioned not just to benefit from the cattle boom but to play a vital role in growing it.

“Not that long ago, it was felt by some that the future of farming would become mostly larger corporate operations, with the family farm diminishing in influence.

“There were fears that family farms could find it difficult to compete on scale, efficiency, or consolidation opportunities. Fast forward to today and increasingly many family farms have not only risen to the challenge, but pursued a range of innovations to grow in strength,” Mr Whitehead said this morning.

ANZ’s report analysed and discussed a number of major factors impacting the beef industry, both domestically and globally, right along the supply chain.

On the global beef landscape, the report models whether the big four markers for Australian beef exports – China, Japan, Korea and the US – provide a good level of market spread or whether this is too concentrated and requires increased focus on new markets.

The report also discussed whether the current high cattle prices could possibly lead to consumer reaction, where the price difference between red and white meat may outpace the enjoyment difference between the two in shaping consumer behaviour.

Family farmers quick to adopt

Regarding family farms, the report outlined how the growth of successful two-generational cattle operations has allowed families to pursue new innovation in areas such as agtech and new farm management systems to build their operations and increase efficiency levels and margins.

In the beef industry, an example was the way that this is allowing many to be in a position to restock strongly and rebuild faster in the post drought period than might otherwise have been the case.

Many family operations are pursuing a range of innovations, including new offtake supply contacts. Additionally, they are also exploring new sustainability opportunities, as well as looking at how to tap into global agri investment capital flows.

“The industry is in great shape, and one of the ways it will stay strong is to keep asking itself tough questions, the aggressively pursuing the best answers,’ Mr Whitehead said.

ANZ Agri Insights has two further short presentations scheduled at Beef 2021 from its latest Beef and Cattle Outlook paper:

  • Wednesday 5 May: Australia Vs The World – We think we know about the big players in the beef game out there – but what’s really driving them?
  • Thursday 6 May: Who’s the Boss – The consumer, the processor or the producer?

Location: ANZ Marquee (site location R5)


  • Click here to view ANZ’s latest cattle and beef report.











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