View towards 2020 and beyond the focus of MLA AGM

Beef Central, 10/11/2016

With more than 200 producers and industry representatives present at today’s MLA annual general meeting held today near Adelaide, participants heard about the opportunities ahead for the industry, as strong investment continues in R&D and marketing to help improve on-farm productivity and drive prosperity.

Newly elected MLA director Alister Watson, right, with re-elected board members George Scott and Michelle Allan.

Newly elected MLA director Alister Watson, right, with re-elected board members George Scott and Michele Allan.

The future of the Australian red meat and livestock industry towards 2020 and beyond was the firm focus for the gathering.

Formal proceedings of the AGM included consideration of MLA accounts and the election of three directors to the board, including a new director – and the re-election of MLA chair Dr Michele Allan.

MLA members voted on the election of three directors to the MLA board (see extended profiles below):

  • Food science and agribusiness specialist with extensive strategic research experience in both food and food related companies and current MLA chair Dr Michele Allan received 83.28pc votes in favour
  • Northern cattle production systems specialist and current director George Scott received 94.44pc votes in favour
  • Specialist in production and supply chain systems and meat retailing in Australia and New Zealand Allister Watson received 85.19pc votes in favour

Dr Allan gave the AGM an overview of the state of the industry with a focus on the strong performance of the markets over the last 12 months.

While highlighting the opportunities ahead, she also reported on the challenges for the industry, including some of the approaching headwinds for the cattle industry as a result of rebounding international markets.

MLA managing director Richard Norton shared with the AGM some highlights where levies delivered tangible outcomes this year for producers and the industry.

He focussed on how MLA is actively planning for the future of the Australian red meat and livestock industry towards 2020 and beyond, particularly around investments in R&D and marketing as well as embracing innovation and harnessing digital technologies to improve prosperity for producers and the Australian red meat industry.

Voting at the AGM is an important way for levy payers to engage with the way MLA is governed, in order to build a prosperous and sustainable future for Australia’s red meat and livestock industry.

The MLA Board is a skills-based Board. Directors have complementary skills in order to make important decisions for the long-term benefit of the livestock industry.


Elected MLA Board Directors – biographies:

Michele Allan

Michele Allan has an academic background in biomedical science, management and law. Dr Allan is a past executive director and non-executive director of Patties Foods Limited and was previously a non-executive director of the Dairy Research & Development Corporation, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Ruralco Holdings Limited, Tasmania Fruit & Vegetable Taskforce, Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd, Callaghan Innovation, William Angliss Catering & Hospitality TAFE College, Cooperative Research Centre Hearing and Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. Current board positions include Innovation Australia, Food Innovation Australia Limited, Apple and Pear Australia Ltd, Grain Growers Limited, Nuffield Australia, CSIRO and she is a member of the CRC Advisory Committee. She is Chancellor of Charles Sturt University and the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

George Scott

George Scott has had a lifelong involvement with the north Australian cattle industry, initially as an employee of both corporate and private operators in Queensland and the NT, and more recently as an owner operator. Mr Scott has a broad knowledge of beef production systems, resource management, genetic development, breeding programs, land management and industry associations. During the past decade, Mr Scott has held senior executive and representative roles in the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA), acted as the NTCA Cattle Council Delegate, and been a member of the Barkly Regional Advisory Committee to the Northern Australia Beef Research Council. Based at Thylungra Station in south-west Queensland, he is currently Managing Partner of Scott Cattle Company producing commercial cattle in Queensland and SA, a Director of Thylungra Cattle Co Pty Ltd and Kyabra Creek Pty Ltd.

Allister Watson

Allister Watson has extensive experience in primary and secondary processing and in meat retailing in Australia and New Zealand. He has held senior positions in Woolworths NZ and Coles and is a past executive of Coles Australia during which time he was integral in transforming the way Coles retailed meat, leading their fully integrated, whole of supply chain meat business including exporting. With over 30 years’ operational experience in the meat industry in Australia and New Zealand, Mr Watson has an excellent understanding of lot feeding and backgrounding, processing, combined with value adding, yields and retail ready product offerings. Mr Watson has a good understanding of how business works and runs, and understands the impact of markets, climate change and the environment on the red meat industry in Australia. He is also a past Board member of the Retail Meat Association (NZ) and the Training Organisation.


Source: MLA


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  1. Trevor Nobbs, 11/11/2016

    Given the long list of boards that Michele Allan either sits on or chairs, as published in your profiles in this report, how the hell can she find enough time to do the MLA chair’s job justice? I’d prefer to see someone whose entire focus is on the red meat industry – not someone who has ten other board distractions. I notice she got only 83% support for re-election.

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