AgForce Urges Producers to Add to Levy Debate

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - Queensland beef producers are urged to become actively involved in the discussions which will follows today's release of the Beef Marketing Funding Committee recommendation to retain the current $5 per head cattle transaction levy rate.
calendar icon 7 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

AgForce Cattle acting president Grant Maudsley said the recommendation for maintenance of the $5 levy was expected based on discussions with AgForce members at meetings throughout the state during the past few months.

“The next step for our members is for a detailed set of discussions of these recommendations at upcoming AgForce meetings," Mr Maudsley said.

The Beef Marketing Funding Committee recommendations announced at Beef 2009 in Rockhampton were that:

  • the $5 cattle transaction levy (CTL) be maintained;
  • the target for minimum return on investment to producers be set at three times the overall marketing levy and;
  • future reviews of the levy be undertaken as a result of industry need, triggered by peak industry councils and not according to a pre-determined timeframe.

"In terms of the vote on the $5 CTL and the relative spending by industry on marketing and promotional activities, it is important to have AgForce Cattle members involved so Queensland beef producers have their say based on sound understanding of the long-term industry needs,” Mr Maudsley said.

"AgForce Cattle members will have the opportunity to discuss this at branch and regional meetings which will shape the policy decisions of the AgForce Cattle board and from there to national peak body Cattle Council of Australia."

Mr Maudsley said the funding committee has clearly looked closely at AgForce’s submission and dealt with key issues such as industry integrity.

AgForce’s submission highlighted the need for Meat & Livestock Australia activities on diversification of marketing and improving the image (particularly environmental image) of the beef industry in the minds of the community and consumers.

“The CTL is needed to fund these activities. We must ensure that MLA is adequately resourced so it can be proactive in communicating the industry’s environmental credentials," Mr Maudsley said. "AgForce Cattle believes we need to be on the front foot and not reactive and that there is a tremendous opportunity to tell the positive carbon story associated with grazing beef cattle in Australia by highlighting the fundamental role that both the producer and the cattle play in managing our grasslands. MLA needs help in selling the good news stories about our beef industry.

"Fundamental to this is that MLA needs to employ people who are passionate about the beef industry and willing and eager to engage in the environmental debate."

AgForce also has a standing position that the CTL funds put towards R&D need to be reviewed in the future, and there is a need for a close look at the adequacy of R&D funding.

“This fits well with the Beef Marketing Funding Committee’s recommendation that there not be a ‘sunset clause’ in the levy,” Mr Maudsley said. “This will ensure peak industry bodies like CCA and ALFA can initiate further reviews, of R&D or marketing programs, when needed.”

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