It’s official: Australia is now leading the world in red meat and veal exports.
A new industry report released yesterday shows Australia’s red meat sector is outperforming traditional powerhouses like the US and Brazil.
The State of the Industry Report: The Australian Red Meat and Livestock Industry, compiled by Ernst & Young, was unveiled at Parliament House in Canberra.
Commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), it provides a snapshot of the meat industry in Australia up to June 30 this year.
The Australian red meat industry – beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat – feeds 24 million Australians and provides 405,000 Australian jobs through direct and indirect employment.
In the report’s foreword, Mr Don Mackay, Chairman of the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) says the industry now generates $15 billion in export revenue through the supply of more than 100 global markets.
According to the report, the value of Australian red meat and livestock exports increased by almost $6 billion over the past five years from $9.2 billion in 2011-12 to $15.1 billion in 2015-16.
It also shows a significant boom in goat meat exports, with Australia now a leading supplier of global goat meat. Last year alone, Australia exported more than 27,000 tonnes.
Putting consumers first
“Through 75,000 Australian (redmeat) businesses we contribute $18 billion to Gross Domestic Product,” Mr Mackay said.
“It is a strong and vibrant industry that puts consumers first.
“An industry committed to the ethical and sustainable production of safe, high quality food.
“An industry that is embracing innovation and technology to help drive our competitiveness and profitability in a global marketplace.”
Australia’s domestic market remains the single biggest and most important market for red meat. Australian consumers eat more than four times the amount of beef and veal and six times the amount of sheep and mutton when compared to global consumption averages.
Leading the world
In 2015 Australia exported 74 percent of all beef and veal produced, 72 percent of all sheepmeat and 92 percent of all goatmeat, Mr Mackay said.
“To put this in perspective, in this same period, Australia was the world’s largest exporter of beef and veal worldwide followed by agricultural powerhouses like India, Brazil, the United States and New Zealand, and the second largest sheepmeat exporter behind New Zealand,” he said.
“We also exported over one million head of live Australian cattle and nearly two million head of sheep in 2016.
“These export accomplishments are all the more astonishing considering Australia’s domestic herd size represents only 2 percent of the global beef herd and 6 percent of the global sheep flock.
“Australia’s goat production is also contributing strongly to the domestic economy, with Australia the largest global exporter of goatmeat in 2013 and average prices increasing by 177 percent between 2013 and 2016.”
Mr Mackay said the new report provided the industry, state and national decision-makers with the facts on the Australian red meat industry.
“As such, it’s a powerful resource to assist in the development of good policy to ensure the prosperity and sustainability of the industry into the future,” he said.
“We must be more collaborative, more innovative and continue to place our customers and consumers at the heart of our thinking, reform agenda and decision making.
“Ultimately, our red meat industry’s success is Australia’s success.”