BIGGER, bolder, brighter and well in-tune with modern industry challenges.
These are some of the prospects in store for beef industry supply chain stakeholders making the decision in coming months to attend next year’s Beef 2015 event in Rockhampton – the nation’s largest and most diverse industry gathering.
Event chairman Blair Angus was upbeat in his assessment of where the event is heading in his presentation to dignitaries and industry stakeholders attending last night’s official Brisbane launch for Beef 2015.
“Next year, we’re working hard towards fully-utilising the Beef Expo format, to cater for the broadest possible range of interests, as well as promoting education throughout the industry – whether that be educating consumers, young people just getting started in the industry, or established producers on new technologies,” Mr Angus said.
“The event next year will be used as a platform to develop all levels of the beef industry, whether it be in growing new export markets for beef, live cattle or genetics, educating producers and others about latest production techniques and technologies, or engaging more closely with consumers.”
The Beef Expos have been held every three years since 1988 in Queensland’s beef capital of Rockhampton, and the event has now grown into a world-class industry event. More than 85,000 stakeholders attended in 2012 from overseas countries and across Australia.
“The 2015 event will again showcase Australia’s top quality cattle through our stud commercial and carcase competitions, as well as assist in adoption by producers of latest industry research through our conferences and seminars, helping drive real productivity growth in the beef industry,” Mr Angus said.
The process of promoting the event in key international markets has already started, to encourage attendance at the Expo to develop new opportunities with the Australian supply chain. More than 600 international visitors from Europe, Asia, Oceania and North and South America attended the last Expo in 2012.
“It’s an exciting time, and a lot of people are now getting heavily involved in pulling the program together,” Mr Angus told last night’s gathering.
Just some of the new initiates on the drawing board for next year’s event include a celebrity chefs’ program, underwritten by MLA.
“We’re engaging both international and Australian celebrity chefs who will participate in the event, both in demonstrating their talents in creative utilisation of the beef carcase, but also in using the event to film their own segments to promote the Australian industry to audiences in Australia and overseas,” he said.
“With that one single initiative, we have the opportunity to take our industry and our product to an international audience of hundreds of millions of people,” Mr Angus said.
Also being launched for the first time at next year’s event will be a mentoring program, designed to put promising young people entering the industry in touch with industry leaders and experts in different fields, to help foster their careers and build their own leadership capability.
One of the ‘foundations’ of any Rockhampton Beef Expo is its cattle competitions, and next year’s events promise to be bigger and better than ever.
The carcase competitions, for example, have seen a huge surge in competition numbers, with 55 beef processing plants across Australia registered to participate, up from just 18 in 2012.
Similarly, organisers have high hopes for record entries in stud beef judging, which stretches across three days of the event due to numbers, and Commercial Cattle Championships, which next year will be rescheduled to a Sunday slot to avoid clashes for viewers with other stud cattle programs.
Next year’s Expo also plans to ‘lift the bar’ in terms of food and hospitality, with a series of ‘Pop-Up’ restaurants, gourmet mobile food trucks and other outlets showcasing beef at a wide range of price points and styles.
“The focus will be on nose-to-tail dining, and lifting the reputation for sustainability in beef production,” Mr Angus said. Visitors attending last night’s Brisbane launch were given sneak preview of this nose-to-tail approach, with a selection of delicious finger-food items featuring chucks, briskets and flap meats.
“The Brisbane launch represents the perfect opportunity to thank the hundreds of people who are already working hard towards making next year’s event a success – our board, events sub-committees, staff and most importantly, sponsors and stakeholders,” Mr Angus said.
He acknowledged the event’s principal partners, the Federal Government, State Government of Queensland, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Rockhampton Regional Council.
Queensland Ag minister John McVeigh told the gathering that the Queensland Government recognised Beef 2015 as the premier event for the beef industry in Australia, if not the world.
He said a meeting of the Agricultural Ministerial Roundtable for development of the northern Australian beef industry would be held during next year’s Beef Expo. The meeting will involve the agriculture ministers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, together with Federal counterpart Barnaby Joyce, specifically to discuss beef issues.
“The ministers will meet with senior industry representatives to talk particularly about supply chain issues across the region, which remain a challenge for the broader been industry, often heavily burdened by costs,” Mr McVeigh said.
The Queensland Government also planned to host Chinese industry delegations at the Rockhampton event.
“It promises to be a very significant event, not only for Queensland, but all of Australia,” Mr McVeigh said.
- Beef Central will showcase what’s in prospect for people attending next year’s Rockhampton event with a series of articles starting later this year. Content surrounding Beef 2015 will be held in a dedicated subject area on the Beef Central website, accessible via the home-page.
HAVE YOUR SAY