ABA Criticises MLA For Low Beef Prices

AUSTRALIA - Australia Beef Association (ABA) Chairman, Brad Bellinger has said that Australia cattle prices are now the lowest in the developed world.
calendar icon 28 October 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Due to a recent rise in Argetinian cattle prices, Australia is now at the bottom of the developed world's cattle prices, whilst remaining one of the leaders in terms of high costs imposed on the industry.

Mr Bellinger ridiculed Cattle Council of Australia’s (CCA) “call to arms” to protect Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) - a body who is meant to deliver a beef policy decided by Cattle Council. Cattle Council has acquiesced to an MLA CEO on $440,000 and seven senior managers averaging over $400,000 in the last financial year, whilst cattle producers progressively go further into debt.

He continued: “How can a organisation that claims to represent producers, applaud a delivery organisation such as the MLA that has overseen a 20 per cent fall in domestic consumption while at the same time watched cattle prices fall.

"We have seen no accountability, or result from $600 million R&D expenditure by the MLA. Australian producers are receiving 27 per cent of the consumer dollar, whilst other countries are all over 40 per cent. We see the most efficient producers only returning one per cent on capital in a good year. 80 per cent of Northern Australian Cattlemen have lost money over the last ten years.”

The Cattle Council represents less than five per cent of the 200,000 people who produce cattle, but are funded by the remains of producer/processor levy money. Fifteen months ago, the CCA secretly agreed with Government to support the importation of beef from BSE affected countries, they have refused to confront the supermarket duopoly and have never opposed the ETS after their funded trip to Copenhagen, said Mr Bellinger.

“The Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation (AMLC) meat structure reached its “use by” date in 1996. The current, complex structure of the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has been an abject failure to look after the interests of the people who fund them and must be wound up as soon as possible,” Mr Bellinger claimed.

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