China now world’s biggest food market
China has overtaken the US as the world’s biggest food market, according to research from think-tank, IGD. A report by the UK-based company says that China’s grocery sector was worth £607 billion pounds at the end of 2011 while the US clocked in at £572 billion. Forecasts are predicting the Chinese market will continue to grow and be worth £918 billion by 2015, outstripping the US which is predicted to grow to £675 billion. The report predicts that all the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations will be in the top five grocery markets by 2015, with India displacing Japan as the world’s third-largest grocery market by value. In a recent portent to these global changes, Beijing’s Zhuochen Livestock Co this month introduced Australian red meat to its supermarket shelves. Zhuochen – a large state-owned supermarket chain – opened its first Australian beef and lamb counter in Jinkelong supermarket, Beijing. This retail cabinet will encourage consumers to purchase and cook Australian beef and lamb, and is located in a well-known supermarket in a middle class residential area. MLA will provide ongoing support, including training for the store staff, point-of-sale material development and merchandising support.
Bigger Brazil kill for JBS
The world's biggest beef processor, JBS SA recently announced that it has lifted its slaughtering and deboning capacity in Brazil by around 25 percent, through the lease of five more processing plants.The facilities, all located in the central-western state of Mato Grosso, will raise the company's slaughter capacity in the South American country by 5150 head per day to more than 26,000/day, it said in a statement. "The integration of these plants, which are cleared to export to the world's main markets, strengthens the company's position in Brazil," JBS said. Beef Central would challenge that claim, as Mato Grosso most certainly is not eligible to sell to higher value markets like Japan, Korea or the US, in FMD grounds. MeatingPlace.com in the US suggests a wave of consolidation is expected to take place in Brazil's beef sector, which leveraged strongly in recent years and was hit hard by the GFC. Several beef companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months. JBS expects to end 2012 with slaughter capacity of around eight million head.
Australian Brangus sale milestone to the US
In what is the first beef cattle embryos sold from Queensland to the US in 20 years, Telpara Hills Brangus based near Atherton in North Queensland has exported genetics to two well-known US Brangus breeders. David Wood, from the Double W Ranch in Texas, and Joe Kassler, of The Oaks Brangus in Georgia, spent US$22,000 at the Houston Livestock Show sale to purchase a flush from Telpara Hills Miss Csonka 541D9. The Americans were clearly impressed by the Australian opportunity adding more Telpara Hills embryos to the total consignment. Telpara Hills genetics manager Stephen Pearce said the sale to two ‘serious players in the US Brangus industry’ indicated that Telpara Hills was moving in the right direction with its Brangus breeding program. International demand for Telpara Hills genetics is growing fast following the success at the Houston Livestock sales with enquiries and orders from South America, Mexico, South Africa and the US, he said. To make the sale possible, Dr Ced Wise of Glen Alpin, the team at Telpara Hills, along with Beef Breeding Services and AQIS had to work with US quarantine authorities to re-write the US import embryo protocol to allow Australian embryos to enter the US. According to Dr Wise, one of the reasons there have been no Queensland embryo exports to the US for so long was the challenges in understanding and complying with the US import protocol. With the new protocol Australian beef producers could now send embryos to the US, he said. The World Brangus Congress will feature as a key activity during the upcoming Beef 2012 event in Rockhampton next month, allowing Australian breeders to discuss the protocol changes. Telpara Hills will use the event to showcase its genetics, working with ABS Global to hold an Elite Genetics sale as part of the program.
Japanese supermarkets focus on older generation
In a recognition of Japan’s age profile skewed towards older generations through low population birth rate, Japan's largest supermarket group, Aeon recently launched marketing strategies targeting older citizens. Aeon, which operates the large Jusco retail chain and other outlets across the country, announced a new marketing strategy focusing on senior generations, called "Grand Generations” in Tokyo.
Time running out for Supply Chain support
Cattle export supply chains have a fortnight left to apply for Federal Government funding support for their operations under the Approved Supply Chain Improvements Program. The Australian Government announced a range of livestock export trade reforms in October last year, including the allocation of funding to the ASCIP. The program provides $5 million over two years (2011-12 to 2012-13) to encourage Australian livestock export industry investment in approved supply chains in livestock export markets. It will reimburse up to 25pc of industry investment in activities undertaken to improve animal welfare in approved export supply chains. Expenditure after 21 October2011 is potentially eligible for funding. The close date for applications is 30 April 2013. Details can be obtained on the DAFF website.
Youth to visit Cape York
Forget backpacking across Europe – AgForce reckons a road-trip to Cape York with some of your mates is a much better idea. Ag generation, the youth arm of AgForce, is hosting its first ever annual road trip this October providing 18-35 year olds with the chance to check- out the challenges of grazing cattle on the Cape and have a ton of fun at the same time. From 14-20 October a bus-load of young beef eaters will leave Cairns and head north to look at how northern beef producers meet market specifications, manage diverse natural resources and diversify their growing businesses. AgForce president Brent Finlay said Ag generation engages and empowers young people keen to be involved and work in agriculture through different events and opportunities, and he encourages younger food and fibre producers to jump on board. "Cape York is on a few people’s 'bucket lists' so we thought we would tick it off the list with the first Ag generation road-trip to a really unique part of Queensland,” Mr Finlay said. "Travel is something young people enjoy, so it's a natural progression to bring a social opportunity and the agriculture industry together in a package that will provide both networking and knowledge building. AgForce understands young people bring an energy and enthusiasm to agricultural representation that is often sorely lacking. "We need to provide new ways for young adults working in agriculture to engage with the industry, but most importantly we need to listen to and absorb what they have to say,” Mr Finlay said. “The policy decisions we make today will affect them the most and the AgGen road trip concept provides an easy first step for 18-35's to get involved.” Early bird registrations are open now and close on June 1 at $1890 (pp, twin share). For information email email@example.com or contact Kate Scott on 07 4699 5520.
Govt offers the ‘how-to’ guide for carbon farming
The Federal Government claims its Carbon Farming Initiative is explained from start to finish in a new handbook released this month.
The CFI handbook outlines how the program works, who administers it, who can participate and how to get involved. It provides answers to frequently-asked questions and maps-out the steps to take to “make the most of the opportunities the CFI presents for our farmers.” Ag Minister Joe Ludwig said one of the best way for farmers to manage the risks posed by climate change was to take advantage of the CFI. “Agriculture in Australia is headed toward a period of real opportunity, but that stands challenged by climate change and the uncertainty it presents to our production into the future,” he said. “The CFI is a win-win for farmers – it opens up new revenue streams and helps deal with the impacts of a changing climate and build resilience in the land sector,” he said.
Copies of the handbook are available online on the DAFF website.
$4 million upgrade for Hamilton saleyards
HAMILTON’S regional livestock exchange centre is set for a major $4 million upgrade, the Hamilton Standard reported this week. It follows a decision by the Southern Grampians Shire Council to adopt a master plan that recommends the sheep and cattle selling facilities be modernised. The exchange has the third largest turnover of sheep in the State and the 10th largest turnover of cattle. The enterprise involves seven stock agencies employing 59 staff members directly and council management includes an on-site manager with four staff members, the newspaper reported.
Tick fever warning
Queensland’s Department of Primary Industries is reminding cattle producers to watch out for tick fever and other tick-related health issues in livestock. Biosecurity Queensland District Inspector Janet Hull said this year's rain had provided the perfect environment and pasture conditions for ticks and a range of other parasites. Symptoms of tick fever include: depression, weakness, jaundice, increased temperatures, staggering, reluctance to move and red urine. Producers who suspect their livestock have tick fever are urged to contact their local veterinarian immediately. Ms Hull said vaccination was the only reliable method for long-term protection against tick fever. Livestock owners can contact their local Biosecurity Queensland Inspector or their local veterinarian for information about ticks in their local area and how to manage the risk of tick fever. For more information about tick fever and tick fever vaccines, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
Farm trees – more than breaking wind
The value of farm trees and shrubs will be on show when the NSW DPI and the Central West Catchment Management Authority hold a free field day at Lucknow on Tuesday, May 1. The field day will focus on the benefits windbreaks can deliver for livestock, crops, pastures and biodiversity. NSW DPI advisory officer, Dhyan Blore, said that many of the existing windbreaks in the Orange district were planted in the 1990s and it was important that landholders update their skills to ensure they know how to manage mature windbreaks. “Grazing management to protect windbreaks plays an important role in maintaining their effectiveness, especially where low shelter is necessary to protect lambs and calves in cold, wet and windy conditions,” Ms Blore said. NSW DPI agronomist, Tony Cox, will discuss weed management. Interested landholders can contact Central West CMA officer, Tim Nalder, (02) 63638607 or 0438 224536. The field day starts at 9.30am and concludes with a barbecue lunch at 12.30pm.