First published 17 Jan. Updated 2pm 18 Jan
Published below are the media releases issued by Cattle Council of Australia, the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee and the Australian Beef Association following CCA’s resignation from the CAIC in Brisbane yesterday:
Joint Cattle Council of Australia/State Farm Organisations media release – 17 Jan 2017:
Renewed strong support for Cattle Council
State farmer organisations have this week united to throw their full support behind the enhancement of Cattle Council of Australia’s directly elected model, to ensure the beef industry has a strong national representative body.
Cattle Council President Howard Smith said the move demonstrated a direct commitment to progressing the interests of beef producers across Australia.
“The state farmer organisations clearly recognise the vital role played by Cattle Council in levy oversight, policy development and producer engagement, and I thank them for their support,” he said.
“Decisions made by Cattle Council members affect the entire industry and the founding members continue to support independent levy payers having their voice heard.”
The founding members of Cattle Council include NSW Farmers Association, Victorian Farmers Federation, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Western Australia Farmers Federation, Pastoralists and Graziers’ Association, Livestock SA, AgForce Queensland and the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association.
The state farmer organisations met in Sydney this week with Cattle Council executives to review the Council’s restructure priorities including the move to re-engage levy payers not affiliated with a state body.
The founding members collectively represent a significant proportion of beef producers across Australia and acknowledged the need for Cattle Council to represent not only existing state farmer organisation members but the beef industry as a whole.
Mr Smith said the meeting in Sydney this week, which was attended by State Presidents, Chief Executive Officers and Livestock Board Chairs, acknowledged the restructure work undertaken by Cattle Council since the 2015 Senate Inquiry into the grass-fed levy.
“There has been significant constitutional change for Cattle Council, and while there is more work to be done, we are getting on with the job of restructuring the organisation to ensure we deliver for the entire industry” he said.
“This is about shoring up the future of the beef industry as a whole. There is recognition of the need for a new model, and that state farming organisations are key to that model and driving it forward.”
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said “with Queensland producing almost half of the country’s beef, the state’s producers were eager to have a well-organised and efficient national peak body providing strong leadership and strategic direction for the industry”.
“We are delighted to see all the state farming organisations agreeing to work together to support Cattle Council through the restructure process during what are exciting times for the beef industry” he said.
President of the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association (NTCA) Tom Stockwell said “NTCA is committed to supporting Cattle Council through the restructure process and ensuring that grass fed cattle producers have strong national leadership. The NTCA, as a founding member of Cattle Council, continues to fully support it as Australia’s peak national body for grass fed producers”.
NSW Farmers Association President Derek Schoen said “the enhancement of Cattle Council’s model recognises that structural reforms are required, to improve producer engagement and enable better industry coordination”.
Victorian Farmers President David Jochinke said “as Victoria’s peak industry body for beef and dairy producers we have a long term commitment to Cattle Council. We see the value in a strong, sustainable national body carrying the southern policy priorities at the federal level and into the international arena and we look forward to continuing to support Cattle Council into the future”.
Western Australia Farmers’ Federation President Tony York said “to achieve the best outcomes for our beef producer members and tap into the national agenda, we are proud to align ourselves with the national body. We are supportive of the goals of Cattle Council and look forward to working together to create a stronger and more vibrant future for the Australian beef industry”.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association President Wayne Johnston said “we need a national peak body for cattle, and Cattle Council is clearly that body. It’s good to see that this proposal has State support right across the board”.
Pastoralists and Graziers of Association of WA, Livestock Chairman Chris Patmore said “yesterday’s meeting was a step in the right direction, with Cattle Council actively seeking member’s views on the core functions and priorities of the organisation going forward. All members play a pivotal role in the effective functioning of Cattle Council and it is absolutely vital that they are considered front and centre with respect on any restructure process”.
Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said “Livestock SA strongly supports a peak body that meets the needs of a modern beef industry. We look forward to working together to ensure strong leadership in the interest of South Australian beef producers”.
“This recommitment by the founding members has reenergised the restructure process and we look forward to working closely with our members and industry around next steps for progressing the representation model” said Mr Smith.
Todays announcement brings to a close Cattle Councils involvement in the Implementation Committee which was established post the 2015 Senate Inquiry and included independent members from across the industry. The Committee met regularly over the past few years to work through options for restructuring the industry and seek out sustainable funding avenues for a full direct elect model.
Independent Chair of the Implementation Committee, Troy Setter welcomed the renewed focus on developing the representative model to engage more grass fed producers.
“The Implementation Committee was given a difficult task by the Former Minister for Agriculture in assisting in the development of a new representative model for the industry. Its members have committed considerable amounts of their own time and energy to achieving this goal. Whilst considerable progress was achieved through this process, confirmation that access to a portion of the levy would not be an option was a hurdle.”
Cattle Australia Implementation Committee media release – 17 Jan 2017:
At the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee meeting held in Brisbane today, the Cattle Council of Australia resigned from the Committee at the behest of the State Farm Organizations, citing that the SFO’s wanting greater involvement and influence in the grassfed cattle Peak Council than was being proposed in the Cattle Australia model.
The Cattle Australia Implementation Committee was formed at the direction of the then Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, in the wake of two Senate Inquiries. The Committee was charged with setting up a democratic, directly elected cattle body.
The newly elected Chairman of the committee, Paul Wright, said that the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee is committed to giving every grass fed levy payer automatic membership and voting rights, as per the Senate Inquiry recommendation No 1
Former Chair, Troy Setter, resigned due to work commitments. Troy Setter welcomed the continued focus on developing the representative model to engage more grass fed producers.
Australian Beef Association media statement – 18 Jan 2017:
The ABA is committed to the establishment of a truly representative grassfed body to represent the interests of our industry.
The ‘Cattle Australia’ Implementation Committee (CAIC) is moving forward with the original plans established by former Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce to develop a democratically elected grassfed cattlemen’s national organisation.
The Australian Beef Association (ABA), strongly backs the continuation of the CAIC, saying it is an ideal opportunity offered to us by Minister Joyce. ABA wishes to reinforce their support of the remaining members of the CAIC to continue to develop the new producer owned organisation.
Senate recommendations, which were delivered following 2 Senate Inquiries (which had also been facilitated by Minister Barnaby Joyce), stated in Recommendation 1: …”that a producer owned body be established ……..” , and the CAIC, originally called the Implementation Committee, was well down the path of achieving this when CCA disappointingly resigned yesterday.
In a 2012 CCA-funded report delivered by a well-respected consulting firm, Innovact, it was noted that the existing Boards and the Peak Council were basically non-representative of the grass cattle industry, and that change was necessary.
Recently the CCA received a Federal grant of $500,000 on behalf of the CAIC (which Minister Joyce encouraged the IC to apply for).
The ABA is committed to the establishment of a truly representative grassfed body to represent the interests of our industry.
Australian Meat Producers Group media statement – 18 Jan 2017:
CCA Renegs on Cattle Australia restructure, thumbs its nose at democracy
Yesterday the Cattle Council of Australia advised a meeting of the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee that the CCA members of that committee had been directed by the State Farm Organisations (SFO’s) to resign from the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee.
In doing so Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) and State Farming Organisations (SFO’s) have thumbed their noses at the recommendations of the 2014 and 2017 Senate Committee Inquiry recommendations for the formation of a truly representative grass fed cattle producer body to replace CCA.
CCA and the SFO’s have also ignored the advice contained in the 2012 Innovact Consulting Report that CCA attached to its submission to the 2013 Senate Inquiry into grass fed cattle systems and structures that as a consequence of falling SFO membership and the convoluted SFO/CCA structure CCA no longer truly represented Australia’s grass fed cattle producers . The Cattle Australia Implementation Committee was set up at the behest of former Federal Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce in 2015 to establish a new truly representative grass fed cattle producer Peak Council to replace CCA.
As Barnaby Joyce stated there was:- “…a strong desire from all sectors in the industry to see the creation of a directly elected representative organisation, whereby if you can earn the endorsement of your peers within your region or ‘electorate’ then you can represent them on the national level, no matter which group you support, CCA CCP, ABA, AMPG, USA and the list goes on. We must see the creation of that body but to get here we must have a mechanism through which levy payers can have their say and vote accordingly on the election of representatives…”
Despite Barnaby Joyce’s express views on representative democracy and CCA’s previous agreement to the establishment of Cattle Australia CCA advised the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee yesterday that the SFO’s were not prepared to walk away from direct SFO representation on the grass fed cattle producers representative Peak Council in favour of a model based on a board directly elected by grass fed transaction levy payers.
Consequently CCA proposed to continue to represent Australia’s grass fed cattle producers through a board comprising 8 SFO appointed directors and two directly elected board members with a proposal for two more directly elected board members if CCA can drum up another 500 direct members. In other words the SFO’ are also thumbing their noses at Australia’s grass fed cattle producers suggesting by necessary implication that grass fed producers cannot be trusted to directly elect their own advocacy representatives and that responsibility should remain with the SFO’s .
The Australian Meat Producers Group (AMPG) remains firmly committed to replacing CCA with the Cattle Australia grass fed cattle representative body. This Cattle Australia Peak Council model includes a board directly elected by grass fed cattle transaction levy payers and was agreed to by the AMPG , CCA, Australian Beef Association (ABA) and the Northern Pastoral Group with the support of then Federal Minister for Agriculture in February 2015. The AMPG will continue to work with the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee and the new Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud to bring that about as soon as possible.