Cattle groups meet to end industry fragmentation

Beef Central, 11/01/2021

Representatives of Cattle Council of Australia and Cattle Producers met in Brisbane just prior to Christmas to discuss and settle a forward pathway to end fragmentation and to develop new industry representative arrangements which can achieve unified positions on important issues.

Below is a combined statement from the groups detailing the progress made at the December 16 meeting:

Representatives of Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) and Cattle Producers Australia (CPA) met on Wednesday 16 December 2020 in Brisbane.

The roundtable meeting was proposed by Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud to catalyse existing industry efforts to settle a forward pathway, mechanism and timeline for reaching agreement on representation in the grass-fed cattle industry.

The meeting was facilitated by Brian Ramsay and attended by observers from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Related article: Running cattle industry representation on smell of an oily rag can’t end well

Opening statements reflected a strong respect for the work done by CCA since its origins to represent the interests of grass-fed cattle producers on nationally important issues.

Both parties expressed an appetite for reform and noted that the time to close an era of fragmentation in the industry was now.

The meeting acknowledged that grass-fed cattle industry representation is essential and there is a cost to producers, government, communities and the industry itself without strong, influential beef industry representative arrangements that can achieve unified positions on nationally and internationally important issues.

The meeting noted the need for a more democratic representative system, which engages most cattle producers.

The meeting clarified the need to set a direction and make the transition to an appropriate governance arrangement, building on what is already working, and for the industry representative body to be able to chart its own destiny and not be dependent on others for funding.

The meeting agreed to six principles that should underpin a future industry representative arrangement:

• inclusivity;

• diversity (beyond geographic diversity);

• trust and respect;

• the ability to be proactive and strategic;

• performance, results and accountability, and

• sustainability (an enduring organisation).

The meeting noted the future model should have grass-fed cattle levy payers as members, but engage strongly with other industry associations, including state farming organisations.

The future model should focus on the national and international issues that matter most and have a strong focus on two-way information flow with its members.

Representatives of CCA and CPA will meet again in early 2021 to continue their discussions and consider a roadmap for broader industry consultation.

Source: Cattle Council of Australia, Cattle Producers Australia


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  1. Andrew Rea, 13/01/2021

    Is it just possible that we can put aside all the motherhood statements. The solution is in the 7 recommendations that were the result of the 2014 “Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Senate Inquiry.” It is all there in plain english, just implement them and get on with it. “Nero fiddles while the grassfed cattle industry burns.” It has been dragging on for 6 years.

  2. Alice Greenup, 12/01/2021

    I was one of those heads in the room, and I’m happy to talk to anyone who has any questions. Constructive contributions and thoughts are very welcome. First meeting was extremely positive and collaborative. Aim is to build a truly representative structure, with broad engagement, then we can focus on a sustainable funding stream.
    There are 46,000 beef producers around Australia. Membership costs $100/year. Please join your national body as a direct member so we can be truly representative and have a strong united voice. #CCA #yourbeefindustryneedsyou
    Alice Greenup, Northern Independent Director CCA.

  3. John Gunthorpe, 12/01/2021

    The bureaucrats attending the meeting made it clear to those attending Littleproud will not allow a democratically elected board of levy payers to manage the use of the levies collected. He will also not permit the levies to be used to fund the advocacy body.
    This is contrary to what already happens with the processors, live exporters, lot feeders and wool producers. It surely also contravenes the principles of his own National Party and Federal Coalition. Since the American colonials there can be no taxation without representation.
    It matters little if he wishes to describe the collection of funds from transactions to meet the costs of the advocacy body as levies or advocacy fees. There is a need for certainty of funding support for our new body and the best way to achieve this is by a 50 cent contribution from each and every animal sold. The levy should be reduced to $3.50 with $1 given back to the producers.
    Littleproud’s inability to sort out the AWI is no reason to deny democracy to grass-fed cattle producers.
    Australian Cattle Industry Council

    • john+cooper, 12/01/2021

      John Gunthorpe is correct in his analyses of the levy situation and it is time our Levy paying producers were recognised as the source of this income and given more say in the utilisation of funds . There can be no “performance and sustainability ” without the funding.

  4. John Carter, 11/01/2021

    “Inclusivity, diversity,trust and respect,proactive and strategic,performance,results and acountability, sustainability”
    Should we use an x-ray on the anonymous heads that thought this up I am sure we could add”transparency”.

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