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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
12 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 Sheepmeat Council of Australia The last year has not been without its challenges. The high Australian dollar has made market entry more challenging for Australian product as well as other protein sources being more competitive when judged on price alone. The positive conditions for the Australian sheepmeat industry and the improved seasonal conditions on previous years resulted in stronger flock rebuilding than was originally forecast by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), with the estimated national flock at 74.283 million head. MLA predicts that the Australian flock will maintain its growth in 2012 and beyond, with indications from a wide cross section of producers that they intend to increase their ewe numbers. Sheepmeat Council tackled a number of policy issues over the past twelve months, some of which are outlined below. Sheepmeat industry Strategic Plan 2010-15 (SiSP) Council released the SISP in 2010 which sets the strategic framework for the sheepmeat industry for the five years 2010 to 2015 and have undertaken a review during 2012. This process allowed an opportunity to refresh the strategy and to identify emerging issues and priorities. The review included a very conservative analysis of the financial impact of the SISP which showed an excellent benefit cost return of 2.3 to 1, with an internal rate of return of 17.9%. Council have also reaffirmed their commitment to the continuation of the information nucleus flock, an extremely Sheepmeat Council has worked for outcomes that matter to the nation’s sheepmeat producers and played an ongoing role in ensuring a sustainable and proftable Australian sheepmeat industry. Council continues to ensure producers are getting value for money from transaction levies. valuable resource for the sheepmeat industry. Market Access Council is committed to providing a platform for ongoing international relations to improve the consumption of Australian sheepmeat in key export markets. As well as our traditional markets in the US, Europe and the Middle East, Asia is becoming increasingly important as a destination for our product and Council has encouraged increased focus on opening up markets in this part of the world. China is a growing and important market with exports of Australian sheepmeat to China increasing each year, albeit at a moderate rate. In 2011 total exports reached 21,234t. There are a plethora of technical market access issues that inhibit growth in this market and progress in addressing these issues is slow, but Council will increase efforts to overcome trade barriers in 2013, and especially pushing for the finalisation of the Australian China FTA. Malaysia is one of the key markets in SE Asia with exports of 8,841 t - largely shoulder cuts. All Australian sheepmeat entering Malaysia is certified halal, and the certification process in Australia has high integrity. Council recognises the need to underpin the brand with on-farm systems that meet customer requirements. The Indian market is a natural sheepmeat market and as such Council has been exploring opportunities in this market. Opportunities exist in the high end retail and foodservice sectors. Imports can provide an impetus for the local industry to develop and grow and so reduce the resistance to imports from local producers. Council will continue to focus on opportunities in India. The Middle East is our largest mutton and live sheep market and is also a burgeoning lamb destination especially built on our enviable reputation as a reliable supplier of high quality safe halal sheepmeat. Council devoted significant effort in this market on both the boxed trade and the live trade, especially on the implementation of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS). The US is an important market for Australian lamb and there are opportunities to achieve greater Australian access. However, the current economic situation places a significant dampener on such opportunities. The situation is exacerbated by the high value of the Australian dollar and the shortage of lamb internationally putting upward pressure on prices. Council continued participation in the Tri-Lamb partnership (between Sheepmeat Council, American Sheep Industry Association and NZ Federated Farmers) to facilitate the consumption of lamb in the US through knowledge sharing and coordinated marketing campaigns. Not-with-standing all of the above the domestic market remains the most important destination for Australian lamb. Council worked with MLA to implement effective marketing campaigns for lamb in Australia based on a proven formula and refreshed for today's audience. Mr Ron Cullen Chief Executive Offcer SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA