Poor transport infrastructure is one of the biggest roadblocks limiting the Australian beef industry’s potential to capitalise on increasing global demand, a new ABARES report has identified.
The report, Australia’s beef supply chains: Infrastructure issues and implications, looks at infrastructure across Australia’s beef supply chain and considers how effectively and efficiently the supply chain can respond to increasing export demand.
It notes that beef production is the most extensive and geographically dispersed agricultural activity in Australia.
“Given this, maximising supply chain efficiency and speed to market are essential to maintaining a competitive beef and livestock industry,” ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said.
“Resolving any inefficiencies in Australia’s beef supply chains will help producers to capture the opportunities presented by increasing Asian demand.”
The report also considers the causes of inefficiencies in road transport, and looks at possible options for addressing them, such as user-pays models, recommending further research into the practical effects of introducing such systems.
It recommends collecting data on road use, condition and maintenance costs as the first step in addressing inefficiency into road funding allocation systems. Even without road pricing reform, such data can help increase efficiency by guiding funding to better reflect where road use and damage occur.
“While the main constraints are in the transport sector, the report also identified telecommunications infrastructure as a potential constraint, with some stakeholders raising concerns about patchy mobile phone coverage and unreliable satellite internet access.”
The full report, Australia’s beef supply chains: Infrastructure issues and implications, was released today and can be found at agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.