MLA Has Lost Sight Of Its Charter

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Australia (ABA) Chairman Brad Bellinger today responded to the Meat and Livestock Australia's (MLA) recent press release in which the Chairman Don Heatley, said that the MLA member resolution, signed by 212 MLA members, threatens to put the Industry at risk by eliminating its marketing and research and development programmes.
calendar icon 12 October 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Mr Bellinger said Brazil is killing us on the world market, with no levies, or NLIS (livestock identification system). The USA is doing the same, despite no NLIS, a $1 levy and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Both countries' cattlemen are getting far greater money than Australia's. MLA has failed miserably in its charter and needs to be wound up.

Mr Bellinger claimed that Mr Heatley's specific defence points illustrated the delusion that MLA suffers from. These are; -

MLA's domestic beef marketing has not prevented the continuous fall in consumption and the 'increased prices' are only due to greater mark-ups by the supermarkets; - they are not prices received by farmers. Producers receive only 27 per cent of the beef dollar - as opposed to over 40 per cent for US and UK farmers. The very overdue removal of the long-term Manager of marketing for the MLA earlier this year, illustrated admission of this.

MLA's defence of over $100 million spent on Meat Standards Australia (MSA) is about more cattle being assessed and qualify to MSA standards' it is not an increase in quality to the consumer. All other countries with grading systems grade all their beef and have the grading systems run by Government, on behalf of the consumer ' not run by processors. Australia must go the same way if we are to arrest the declining domestic consumption of beef.

MLA's claim of 'an active defence of the live export cattle trade' would be ridiculed by Northern producers, now denied their traditional market because Indonesia recently introduced weight specifications.

MLA's defence of their R&D expenditure when in reality it has not delivered, as the $700 million spent had not been reflected in producer or processor adoption, and the recent Productivity Commission Report supports this view. Producers want full, honest and transparent accountability from the MLA of the $700 million expenditure on R&D.

MLA's response to further attacks on our 'environmental issues' is frightening. The Red Meat Advisory Council and their levy funded Peak Councils, have failed in their charter to help farmers. Their five-year strategic plans have delivered nothing. The 2010 Strategic Plan could have frightening consequences for us. It outlines an ethical and environmental management plan for producers, implemented through the LPA NVD.

'The MLA are hell bent on protecting eight salaries of over $300,000, financially supporting their mates under the guise of R & D Funding and have lost sight of what our industry funds them to do, which should be to promote and defend the interests and well being of the Australia's red meat producers, who via their levies help to fund it', Mr Bellinger stated.

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