Three nominees decided for 2016 MLA board positions

Beef Central, 26/08/2016

MEAT & Livestock Australia levy payers will be asked to vote on the election of three nominees as directors of the producer service delicvery company at the upcoming annual general meeting in November.

The three nominees endorsed by the board selection committee, which now go forward for MLA member endorsement, include two returning board members, and a new candidate.

They were chosen from a pool of 89 applicants for the three available positions this year.

This year, applicants with extensive knowledge in strategic R&D and portfolio analysis in the food industry, northern cattle production systems and production and supply chain systems, including an understanding of key drivers of red meat customer demand were encouraged to apply. The chosen candidates appear to deliver a more ‘through-chain’ industry perspective.

The successful nominees for election (or re-election) as MLA directors this year are:

  • Food science and agribusiness specialist with extensive strategic research experience in both executive and non-executive levels in food and food related companies – Dr Michele Allan (current MLA chair & director)
  • Expertise in northern cattle production systems, including live export, sustainability, infrastructure, MSA and genetics – George Scott (current director of MLA)
  • Expertise in production and supply chain systems and meat retailing in Australia and New Zealand – Allister Watson.

Current MLA board director Lucinda Corrigan, who completes her current three-year term this year, did not re-nominate for a board seat. She leaves the MLA board after November’s AGM, having delivered nine years of outstanding, vigorous service to the board.

Allister Watson

Allister Watson

First-time nominee Allister Watson has extensive experience in primary and secondary processing and in meat retailing in Australia and NZ.

He has held senior positions in Woolworths NZ and Coles and is a past senior executive of Coles Australia, during which time he was integral in transforming the way Coles retailed meat, leading the company’s fully-integrated, whole of supply chain meat business including exporting.

With more than 30 years operational experience in the meat industry in Australia and NZ, Mr Watson has an excellent understanding of lotfeeding and backgrounding, meat processing, value-adding and retail ready product offerings. He has good understanding of how business works and runs, and understands the impact of markets, climate change, and the environment on the meat industry in Australia. Here’s an earlier article published on Beef Central, quoting Mr Watson on industry developments in his former role as head of meat for Coles.

How the board selection/election process works

Typically each year, three MLA boardmembers complete their three-year terms, with those seats coming up for re-election. Nominees for election are chosen by a nine-person selection committee, based on specific skills criteria developed with a balanced board skills-base in mind. Candidates put forward as directors are then elected by MLA members at the AGM.

The selection committee is made up of four independent producer representatives, three industry peak council representatives and two MLA board directors (with no voting rights).

As applies every year, the 2016 candidates were assessed based on their skills and broad understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry, having strong business acumen, financial literacy, an understanding of corporate governance and a collaborative approach in making an active contribution to strategic and Board discussion.

As a skills-based Board, their role is to ensure appropriate performance goals for the company are set and achieved, while taking into account the interests of the industry and other stakeholders.  This includes strategy development and review of governance, financial performance and risk management.

MLA 2016 AGM

MLA’s 2016 annual general meeting will be held on Thursday, 10 November in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.

The AGM will be underpinned by a producer forum, with speakers from MLA and across the red meat and livestock industry. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions, meet the MLA board, learn more about how their levies are being invested and hear about MLA programs and how MLA will contribute to the future prosperity of the red meat industry.

In recent weeks, MLA members will receive their Levies Notice pack by mail or email.  This contained a formal notice for members to advise MLA what levies they paid in 2015-16.

Members should return their Levies Notice or complete it online by 15 September to ensure they receive their full voting entitlement.

Members with questions about their Levies Notice pack can call 1800 023 100 (Australia only) or email




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  1. Terry Sykes, 28/08/2016

    How do you justify your assertion that Coles is “forcing the price paid to producers down,” Mike?
    Last time I looked, Coles northern supply contract holders were receiving 630-650c/kg. That’s that far above the spot market rate, even for non HGP cattle, it isn’t funny.

  2. Mike Introvigne, 26/08/2016

    While I consider Allister Watson has exceptional credentials to become a director of MLA, I do wonder how a person who has been part of an organisation that has played a role in forcing the prices paid to producers down has the ability to understand what is required for the continued improvement in beef production profitability. I accept that we produce food and not just cattle and that we must have a paddock to plate mentality but is someone, who may be seen as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, able to properly delineate the value of the calf producer with the profit at all cost mantra of a supermarket giant. As producers we must consider more than just profit in our business, our decisions are made after considering a myriad of business impacts that are not driven by profit alone but assist in building a long term ecologically and socially sustainable enterprise that generates acceptable profits. I don’t believe supermarket executives are driven by either ecological or social parameters other than driving down consumer prices to help increase their shareholder returns.

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