Vale Kevin Cottrill

Jon Condon, 12/12/2017

RESPECTED meat industry representative body executive, Kevin Cottrill passed away yesterday in Sydney, after a period of illness.

Kevin Cottrill

Mr Cottrill retired last year after a distinguished career representing the interests of red meat retailers, smallgoods manufacturers and meat processors through the Australian Meat Industry Council, and one of its predecessor organisations, the National Meat Association of Australia.

Mr Cottrill had been the chief executive of NMAA from 2002 prior to the merger in 2003 with the Australian Meat Council, which formed today’s AMIC industry body. It is rarely easy to blend two former rival organisations, and he was at the forefront of the historic 2003 merger, ensuring that the new company and its combined membership began effectively and efficiently.

While his overarching role at AMIC over the past 14 years was as the organisation’s chief executive, Mr Cottrill is perhaps best remembered for his work with the National Retail Council, representing the interests of independent butchers.

He went into battle for butchers on many fronts, from gaining a fair share of the MLA domestic marketing dollar, to contributing to the adoption MSA (independent butchers led the early adoption of MSA at retail), together with managing broader industry issues including food safety programs, Country of Origin Labelling, animal welfare and industrial relations and training programs.

One of his proud achievements was the formation and execution of the National Sausage Kings competition, celebrating the unique skills, pride of workmanship, individuality and customer-facing approach of Australia’s independent local butchers.

An accountant by trade, Mr Cottrill spent his early working life as a financial controller with aluminium producer Comalco, before joining the Dairy Farmers Co-operative in 1988 as company secretary.

He later found his way into the meat protein industry, joining MQF, a division of Nippon Meat Packers, and later in 1999, Melosi Fine Foods, one of the nation’s largest smallgoods manufacturers, as general manager. Three years later he started with NMAA, beginning the final industry representation phase of his career.

Within AMIC he worked tirelessly on a number of key platforms, namely financially stability and growth of the Council, developing a strong constitution for the council and effective governance controls.

His passion, and continued passion even in retirement, was the interests of AMIC members. He continued to serve as chairman of the AMIST super fund, and as a director of industry training body MINTRAC until recent times.

Mr Cottrill left AMIC in a solid financial position, with a large number of contented members, a good structure and great relationships.

Victorian meat processor Gary Hardwick spent a long period working alongside Mr Cottrill, as both an NMA chairman, and AMIC chairman.

“The meat processing and retail industries have benefited greatly from Kevin Cottrill’s contribution,” Mr Hardwick said.

“He will be greatly missed. He was dedicated, hard-working, and did not look for personal kudos – in fact he looked for ways to avoid acknowledgement for his efforts,” he said.

“His dedication to the meat industry and helping people in it was second to none.”

Former AMIC national retail council chair, Kerry Melrose, remembers Mr Cottrill as heavily committed to industry affairs, highly intelligent, and an astute businessman.

“His financial background meant he left AMIC in a very strong financial position, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. At the same time he was a very private person,” Mr Melrose said.

Funeral arrangements

Kevin Cottrill’s funeral will be held at St Bernadette’s Catholic Church, 367 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill, Sydney on Monday, 18 December at 12.30pm

and afterwards at the Estate Room, The Hills Lodge, 1 Salisbury Rd, Castle Hill (note change from earlier location).




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  1. Jenny Kroonstuiver, 13/12/2017

    Kevin will be greatly missed by the Board and staff of MINTRAC. He was astute and incisive in his knowledge and understanding of the vocational education and training system, and his twelve years of service on the MINTRAC Board and various industry advisory councils was greatly appreciated. Personally I found him a wonderful mentor and advisor and valued his considered advice on so many occasions.

  2. Ross Keane, 12/12/2017

    I endorse all that has been said above. Kevin’s financial acumen was the highlight I will always remember. Many of us would always turn to Kevin on Financial and Investment matters. His commitment to our Red Meat and Livestock Industries was 1st class. How he shouldered the workload, is something we all admired. I have been in many tight corners with Kevin, and was always pleased he was on my side. RIP

  3. Dougal Gordon, 12/12/2017

    Very sad to hear of Kevin’s passing. He was the penultimate diplomat and was able to calmly achieve a desired outcome on even the most delicate and politically sensitive matters. Very sage in his advice and counsel and always happy to assist when he could. What a great legacy for everyone who knew him.

  4. Justin Toohey, 12/12/2017

    What a wonderful man he was. I was shocked to read of his death and can’t imagine his family’s sense of loss. As others have said, the industry has many, many reasons to thank him. Safe travels Kevin!

  5. Sandy Maconochie, 12/12/2017

    Sorry to read of Kevin’s passing. I spent many hours with Kevin at various industry meetings and gatherings. His quiet and efficient manner shone through as he articulated his point of view.

  6. Tom Maguire, 12/12/2017

    Well said Terry. Kevin will also be remembered for the positive impacts he has had on so many careers of people who have worked in meat industry organisations. I will remain forever grateful for the guidance and support of Kevin during my time with NMAA and later AMIC. A true Gentleman who always had time for you.

  7. Patrick Hutchinson, 12/12/2017

    I was very proud the day I was asked to be Kevin’s successor. The position he had built for AMIC was immeasurable as was his dedication for members and staff. From the tension of the early merger negotiations through to leading the merged entity representing the Post farm gate meat industry, Kevin was a beacon of solidarity and immense intelligence in all that followed. As an industry we are poorer for for his departure, and as a company we continue to grieve. However, AMIC now has a massive legacy to not only continue by grow in his honour, which we have already started to do. Thanks you Kevin for not just being the leader you were, but for the person that you were.

  8. Terry Nolan, 12/12/2017

    Kevin was an absolute tower of strength for our meat industry, yet so private; a strong leader of our industry, yet so avoiding of the limelight. He had the ability to make the complex simple; the desire to put the service of others above the needs of himself. Firm but humble; caring but curt when required, the ability to couch the relevant detail in concrete with the astuteness and flexibility to broker an outcome on the peripheral politics. Unless you worked closely with Kevin you would never appreciate the depth of his talent. Kevin will be so sadly missed. Thanks Kevin for all you did for our industry!

  9. Danny Gleeson, 11/12/2017

    So sad to here of the passing of this wonderful man.
    Kevin was a industry leader I respected so much, his depth of knowledge was unrivalled, a humble and courteous person who treated everyone with respect,no matter their background
    The world and our industry is a lesser place today.

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