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White paper recommends restructure of red meat industry

A white paper
for the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) released on Thursday has recommended that the sector is represented by a single body to avoid duplication and an uncoordinated approach to dealings with Government.

The independent task force recommends that Red Meat Australia be the single voice for Australia’s 82,500 red meat businesses as part of a “business centric” Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“The White Paper recommends three new streamlined and unified industry bodies within the MOU: Red Meat Australia, a single research body and a single red meat integrity forum,” RMAC independent chair Don Mackay said.

“Over many years, industry has been extremely frustrated by too many red meat industry organisations, the lack of accountability and return on investment back to business from levies; and an uncoordinated and fractured approach to dealing with the Federal Government.”

Mackay expects the fresh approach to revolutionise the sector and establish a strong organisational force that will be “the ultimate determinant of levy investment and deliver the public policy, social licence and domestic and international marketing roles”.

“This business-centric approach would make the industry a powerful organising force in Canberra and to the millions of customers and voters who enjoy our product as well as reduce bureaucracy and duplication, be more cost-effective, and be backed by a real accountability framework back to business and government.”

Funding and representational issues have been long identified but unaddressed in the industry, according to chair of the taskforce and lead reviewer, Jim Varghese AM.

“Our consultation with industry and business clearly highlighted the need for reform to ensure a stronger capacity for the industry to manage and address current and future issues like climate change, animal activism, technological disruption and in vitro meats.”

“It is the view of the Taskforce that the White Paper recommendations will position the industry for the future and make it more accountable to those who have real ‘skin in the game’ through industry levies and taxpayer funds,” Varghese said.

In commissioning the White Paper, RMAC wished to understand how to provide greater returns on investment and drive demand for Australia’s red meat businesses. It will provide a report on White Paper progress by November 2019.

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