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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
16 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 Kelly Manton-Pearce, from Yealering in Western Australia, received the 2012 Nuffeld Scholarship sponsored by CBH and CSBP. Kelly’s investigations are focusing on the supply-demand balance for the Australian sheep industry and how sheep farmers should respond to the growing demand for a high-quality retail-ready lamb product. 2012 Nuffeld Scholarship She says both prices and demand keep rising but, despite a good year generally across Australia, the sheep flock rebuilding rate is likely to remain constrained over the next five years, and hopes to work out whether the high prices for lamb due to low supply will impact on rebuilding potential and what the implications of the high price is for future lamb demand. With her husband Alan, Kelly runs a 4500 acre cropping and sheep farm. They run a Border Leicester stud and this year they seeded 3750 acres to wheat, lupins, canola (including GM) and barley as well as producing export hay. Kelly is also currently employed as a Research Fellow on a part- time basis for The CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC2). Maintaining our share of the Lamb Meat Pie It's exciting times for sheepmeat producers with Australia being so well positioned to be one of the key global players in the trade of lamb and mutton into the future. With over 50% of our production being exported in 2012, exports are now generating a higher proportion of income for Australian sheep producers. There is strong export demand for our chilled and frozen lamb and sheepmeat from Middle Eastern countries and the US - our two largest export markets, as well as increasing sales into emerging markets such as China. My husband Alan and I are cropping and sheepmeat producers from Yealering 220km SE of Perth in Western Australia. We have a Border Leicester stud but also produce Border Leicester-Merino ewes, male slaughter lambs and have a line of shedding maternal composite ewes also producing slaughter lambs. As a sheepmeat producer, I'm really interested in how we can better capitalise on the growing demand for our lamb and sheepmeat products in the future. What market specifications do we need to meet into the future and what should be our priority breeding decisions. The first part of my Nuffield Scholarship is to gain insight into the current and developing markets for lamb and sheepmeat and we have recently returned from the Middle East, UK and EU. In the Middle East we met a number of importers and meat industry organisations. The highlight was visiting 70,000 head plus feedlots in Bahrain and Jordan housing Australian sheep. The Middle East is a melting point of money and culture. This is our most valuable export market and growth is rapidly increasing. It's a high volume market for Australian forequarter products and a growing food service and retail market for the higher value saddle cuts. Lamb is part of many traditional meals and an important component of religious occasions like the Haj and Ramadan. It was exciting to see the very strong and growing demand for live animals with a premium being paid for freshly killed meat and for anything Australian. There is an increase in the availability of sheep from other regions, particularly Eastern African countries. If live export is ever stopped- we certainly won't get 100% substitution with Australian chilled product, as these non- Australian live sheep will easily fill the gap. We heard how the implementation of the Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) over the last 6 months has been difficult but the general consensus was that this regulatory framework should help stabilise the live animal industry into the future. Alan and I witnessed first hand the excellent welfare of Australian sheep in the arrival and feedlot facilities and came home feeling very positive that the industry will continue. In the UK I spent time with key importers of Australian lamb. The UK market, like Australia, is 'western' but also has a very strong cultural demand. Australia sells the higher value cuts like the legs and the saddles into this market but opportunity to expand is limited unless we can change our quota. I was very interested to hear about the current As a sheepmeat producer, I’m really interested in how we can better capitalise on the growing demand for our lamb and sheepmeat products in the future.