MLA annual report 2022-23: Income and expenditure down, reserves reduced


Meat & Livestock Australia’s retained earnings reduced by a further $20.2 million in 2022-23, bringing down the organisation’s overall retained surplus from $110.1 million three years ago to $44.8 million today.

The deficit predominantly reflects the application of MLA’s Levy Reserve Policy, its 2022-23 annual report said, which required an increase in levy investment.

Click on image to downlad PDF of MLA annual report 2022-23.

“The deficit largely reflects the deliberate drawdown on excess accumulated levy reserve balances,” the document states.

Beef Central has today sought more detail on what MLA’s Levy Reserve Policy entails and will update this article with that information if and when received.

The 2022-23 annual report, now published on the MLA website, shows the levy-funded industry service organisation’s overall revenue fell by 0.1 percent to $287.9 million in 2022-23, reflecting lower grassfed levies and lower receipts from R&D contributions due to a decrease in gross value of production.

Funds from producer levies eased by 0.1pc to a total of $97.7 million.

Grassfed cattle levy income fell by 3.5 percent to $47.3 million, while grainfed cattle levies rose by 9.5pc to $12.7 million.

Lamb/mutton levies increased by 1.4pc to $37.1 million while goat levies remained steady at $0.6 million.

Total expenditure was also lower, reducing 0.9pc to a total of $308 million.

Approximately 63 percent of total expenditure was invested in research and development ($196m in total – 4.5pc below the year before) and 37 percent in marketing, market access and insights ($111m in total – 6.5pc above 2021-22, with the lift partially driven by additional State Government grants in the International Markets program).

The annual report shows MLA currently has 461 current research contracts worth $550.4m on its books.

Source: MLA

In 2022-23 it invested $196.6 million in a range of research, development and adoption programs, of which $101.3 million was invested through MLA Donor Company (MDC), which includes matching funds from the Australian Government and grants.

MLA completed or terminated 326 research contracts in 2022-23, worth $228.1 million, while commencing 212 new research and development contracts totalling $108.7 million.

This included 57 contracts through MDC that were worth $78.5 million, with milestones across multiple years.

Expenditure of grassfed cattle levies on marketing activities saw $10 million invested in the domestic market in 2022-23 (up from $8.2 million in 2021-22) and $26.2 million invested in international markets (up from $25.4 million the year before).

The Australian domestic market is the largest destination for Australian beef, consistently consuming almost 30 percent of total beef production volume, or around 600,000t in 2022, according to MLA’s domestic market snapshot report.

Domestic marketing for beef in 2022-23 included the “Beef at your Best” campaign which

utilised Brisbane Broncos NRL and NRLW teams to reinforce beef’s attributes as a great source of protein and iron, and the “You’re Thinking Beef” campaign targeted at consumers wondering ‘what’s for dinner?’.

Consumer research conducted following the campaigns indicated that consumer perception that beef “makes healthy meals” increased from 46pc to 52pc and the perception that beef is ‘worth paying more for’ increased from 28pc to 30pc over the year.

The annual report also notes that the 2023 summer Australian lamb ad has now become the most viewed lamb ad ever with 4.8 million views on YouTube.

MLA export data for the 12 months ending June 2023 show Australia exported 208,000 tonnes of beef to Japan (down 10pc), 184,000t to China (up 23pc), 176,000t to South Korea (up 11pc), 164,000t to the US (up 18pc), and 54,000t to Indonesia (up 35pc).

MLA staff numbers as at June 2023 were reported at 290 employees, a reduction of 1pc on June 2022.

Wages and salary costs – which are  understood to include contractors and recruitment costs – were 13 percent higher in 2022-23 to $38.4 million, which compared to $33.9m in 2021-22.

MLA membership is voluntary and free to all levy-paying grassfed cattle, grainfed cattle, sheep lamb and goat producers.

MLA reported 50,137 members in 2023, an increase of 352 from 2022.

Overall membership numbers have been relatively stable for the past decade, moving up and down annually within a range of 1527 (3 percent) from 48,610 members in 2013 to 50,137 this year.

Source: MLA annual reports 2012-13 to 2022-23

The annual report noted that 2022-23 has seen a large supply increase resulting from flock and herd growth and drier conditions this year which have seen restocker demand ease, which has stretched processing capacity and labour and put significant downwards pressure on livestock prices.

However, it also notes that Australian beef is poised to benefit from increased demand as US industry emerges from drought and commences its herd rebuild.

The report documents examples and performance progress of numerous MLA research and marketing programs conducted in 2022-23.

To read the full report on the MLA website click here


  • Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be a hybrid event taking place on 23 November at Bendigo Showgrounds, Bendigo, Victoria. For more information or to register click here





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