PROMINENT seedstock producer Prue Bondfield was elected as a director of LiveCorp for a three year term, during the live export industry service delivery company’s recent annual general meeting.
Ms Bondfield joins chairman Troy Setter and existing board members, exporters Angus Adnam and Michael Gordon, producer Lisa Dwyer, and ALEC chair David Galvin on the board.
She said she was drawn to the role, in part, because of the exciting things happening in the live export industry and the pace of innovation and change, while understanding there are still challenges to tackle.
The Bondfields’ seedstock operation, Palgrove, has a long association with the livestock export industry, having exported sheep and cattle breeding stock to several countries. In addition, live export markets are the destination for many of their northern bull clients’ commercial cattle.
The Palgrove cattle operation that she and husband David owned for more than 30 years runs properties across Queensland and New South Wales. In 2017, the couple formed a partnership with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, staying on to run the Charolais and Ultrablack stud and commercial cattle enterprise until 2020. Ms Bondfield remains a director of the Palgrove group of companies.
As the inaugural chair of the steering group appointed to develop a Beef Sustainability Framework some years ago, Ms Bondfield said she was conscious of the important role livestock exports played in the beef industry and was clear in her approach that all red meat supply chains should work together to enhance Australia’s reputation.
“These days, with the significant growth of markets for cattle other than Bos Indicus, including dairy, Angus and Wagyu, I believe the supply chain has become more vital to the entire livestock industry’s value proposition,” she said.
“The numbers and diversity of export categories and markets have helped producers from all over Australia realise the benefits that live exports provide to domestic pricing.”
Being slightly outside the industry since stepping back from day-to-day operations at Palgrove, while still understanding it, gave Ms Bondfield a different viewpoint, which she felt would be of value to LiveCorp and its members.
Ms Bondfield also has a background as a solicitor and has served on several beef industry and government boards.
She said she also believed it was important to learn from other agricultural and non-rural industries as well as other parts of the supply chain; and to adapt and adopt strategies and solutions where relevant.
Customer and stakeholder expectations are another focus for Mrs Bondfield, and she said she was excited by the community sentiment work being done by LiveCorp.
“Working through challenges pre-emptively provide many benefits to any industry – from an operational perspective; by providing comfort to a regulator that they don’t have to step in; and by reassuring the general public there are systems and processes in place to achieve the best outcomes rather than confronting images that may end up in the media,” she said.
Mrs Bondfield said she was also conscious of the need to keep finding efficiencies, and to keep seeking out different markets. This included making sure the industry manages regulatory requirements through innovative and digital solutions to demonstrate compliance, and maintain relationships to ensure products can be delivered with confidence.