News

Farm bodies urge producers to attend Albury senate hearing

Beef Central, 31/08/2015

The peak farm bodies in Victoria and New South Wales are urging livestock producers to attend a public hearing in Albury this Wednesday (September 2) into the red meat processing sector.

The Victorian Farmers Federation and New South Wales Farmers were both instrumental in pushing for the Senate inquiry to be held, to investigate issues such as the decision by nine processors not to buy at the first Barnawatha cattle sale, and JBS’ takover of Primo Smallgoods.

VFF and NSWFA representatives will be among the witnessess to give evidence at the Albury public hearing this Wednesday, which follows earlier hearings at Canberra last Thursday and Roma earlier in August.

“Livestock farmers have collectively voiced their concern on the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector,” VFF livestock president Ian Feldtmann said.

The VFF’s submission states that: “farmers want a simple clear adaptive and resilient market structure that can deal with the livestock market as it exists now and is capable of keeping pace with the evolving consolidation and rationalisation in the processor and retailer market.”

Mr Feldtmann said it was critical that accountability, transparency and market access underpinned the senate inquiry.

“Critically, the focus of the recommendations of this inquiry to the senate must be about the basics of transparency, price discovery and enforceable market conduct as a minimum and necessary condition for a fair market.

“There is a definite lack of transparency regarding feedback to the producer regarding the actual measured performance of the product trusted to the processor.

“When processors recover at least 22% of the price they pay for cattle just by selling waste/by products, you start wondering about their profit margins.  Suddenly the gap between beef retail prices and cattle sale yard prices has begun to take on a new meaning.

“Australian agriculture is on the brink of becoming globalised like never before in its history. Yet the red meat value chain lacks any suitable framework for this evolution at its most susceptible phase,” Mr Feldtmann said.

NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen said that farmers want a simple, clear, adaptive and resilient market structure that can deal with the livestock market as it exists now.

“We also need one that is capable of keeping pace with the evolving consolidation and rationalisation in the processor and retailer market,” he said.

“The inquiry and its recommendations need to focus on transparency, price discovery, enforceable market conduct and the conditions for a fair market.”

Mr Schoen said that Australian agriculture was becoming globalised and unfortunately, the red meat value chain lacked suitable framework for this evolution.

 

  • More on last Thursday’s Canberra Senate hearing sessions later today.
  • The Senate Committee will deliver its findings on the last sitting day in March 2016.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Your email address will not be published.

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.

Comments

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -
FREE!