Industry Welcomes Live Export Trade

AUSTRALIA - The livestock industry has welcomed the governments decision to re-open live export trade with Indonesia, however farmer representatives warn that the cash flow crisis facing northern producers may take more than a year to overcome.
calendar icon 7 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association president, Rohan Sullivan said that the while the news is a great relief, the reality is that there is a great deal of work that needs to be done in Indonesia before the trade returns to some kind of normality.

“There are about 25 abattoirs that are being upgraded to meet the new standards required for us to export cattle, which is about a third of the facilities that normally take cattle,” Mr Sullivan said.

“We call on both the federal and state governments to assist MLA in upgrading the rest of the facilities and train the Indonesian abattoir workers.

“We also need to be mindful that the cattle that are shipped into Indonesia will spend 90 days or more in a feedlot before they go to the abattoir, so during that period we must ramp up our investment and human effort into the upgrades and training.”

Mr Sullivan said that cattle numbers leaving northern ports for Indonesia will be restricted for some time, which translates to continuing financial stress for producers waiting for cattle sales.

In a joint press release, industry organisations said that while this is an important first step for cattle producers, exporters and businesses impacted so heavily by the suspension, the recommencement of the trade will be gradual to those supply chains that meet approved international standards, and export volumes may not return to normal levels for a considerable period of time. While ever volumes remain below normal levels producers in northern Australia will continue to suffer.

The industry and Government must now work together with Indonesia to bring additional facilities up to international standards, so that the $320 million a year trade can return to normal levels as soon as possible while also assuring the welfare of Australian cattle throughout the supply chain.

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