TWO Q&A sessions will explore some of the key issues facing the processing sector when the Australian Meat Industry Council’s biennial meat industry conference gets underway on the Gold Coast on September 16 and 17.
This year’s conference theme is “Securing the Future”, and the event will focus on some of the major challenges and opportunities facing the meat processing and export sector over the next decade.
Falling into the category of being both a ‘challenge’ and a great ‘opportunity’ is the market in China, with the Free Trade Agreement now before the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties as part of the ratification process in Australia.
The Australian Meat Industry Council has argued strongly for the agreement to be brought into force in 2015. If the FTA is delayed until 2016, it will give New Zealand, Australia’s major export competitor in China, another year of zero tariffs while Australia will be paying between 12pc and 25pc on exports.
China in fact will be the focus of one of two Q&A sessions at this year’s AMIC conference, with senior industry representatives from major processors and exporters participating in panel discussions with representatives from the government and the banks over the key issues facing the industry in this major market for Australia.
Included in the panel lineup will be AMPC’s newly appointed trade director Rob Williams, AMIC’s veterinary counsel John Langbridge, and Australian Processor Council chair, David Larkin, who will act as session moderator. Also joining the panel will be an experienced beef exporter servicing the China market, a representative from the Department of Agriculture and a banking sector economist.
Special messages from Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb and the chairman of the China Meat Association, Li Shuilong will provide introductions to the debate on China.
The industry’s China Working Group has a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Meat Association, and a delegation from industry will be attending the International Meat Conference in Qingdao in late September following the AMIC conference.
A second conference Q&A session will look at the broader opportunities and challenges facing the red meat industry including market access; the cost of compliance; quota management and in particular, the impact of this year’s US beef quota constraint; declining throughput as the cattle herd and sheep flock look to rebuild; and rising utility costs.
Other topics of considerable interest to delegates include:
- On the issue of energy costs, Energetics will be presenting an absorbing presentation on the key mega trends around energy use in meat production throughout the supply chain (such as energy impacts, emerging technologies like methane capture, transport shifts and climate change policy), and how these issues may impact the processing business at a corporate and local site abattoir level.
- The result of an environmental scan of the key mega trends in the industry five years ago relative to today and their likely impact on the future will also be the subject of another interactive discussion led by David McKinna, principal of consultancy McKinna et al.
- A presentation by former senior food retail executive Martin Kneebone on the domestic retail market for meat and meat products along with some of the key trends and influences that he sees impacting the domestic meat market in the future will be another feature.
The conference trade exhibition will continue to highlight some of the recent technological and mechanical advances in the industry along with a range of networking opportunities that will allow attendees to both enjoy the opportunity to meet key players in the industry in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere, as well as learning something new and interesting.
As usual a number of industry awards will be presented during the conference’s gala black tie dinner on Thursday evening. They include:
- The Maersk Distinguished Australian of the Year award
- The Atron Woman in Processing award
- The Intralox Industry Excellence award
- The Meat Processors/MLA Future Leaders Award
Where & When: 16-17 September 2015, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast
Further details and registrations, click here.