Monday, January 22, 2018

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: RED MEAT INDUSTRY ORGANISATIONS ADOPT RUSSIA'S 'IMITATION DEMOCRACY'


Less than 3% of Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) eligible members bothered to exercise their ‘rubber stamp’ vote for pre-selected directors at MLA’s AGM in late November 2017.

November 2017 also saw the launch of the brave new world of Sheep Producers Australia Ltd (SPA) being formed to replace the State Farm Organization (SFO) based the Sheepmeat Council of Australia Peak Council that was established in 1978.The SPA endorsed the appointment of 5 pre -selected directors to Australian sheep producer’s new representative advocacy body at its first AGM on 14 November 2017.

On Wednesday 17 January 2018, the SFO’s instructed the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) to walk away from the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee (IC) set up in 2015 at former Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s behest to establish a new truly democratic representative cattle producer Peak Council with a board directly elected by grass fed cattle transaction levy payers to replace CCA.

CCA advised the IC last Wednesday that they proposed to continue to represent Australian grass fed cattle producers through a board comprising 8 SFO appointed directors and two directly elected board members with a proposal for two more directly elected board members if CCA can drum up 500 direct members. . . .

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

WILL AUSTRALIA'S CATTLE PRODUCERS EMBRACE REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IN 2018?


Huntblog’s attached 15 December 2017 Newsletter lamented the fate of Australia’s sheep meat producers who have been lured to their agri-political death as a consequence of having Sheep Producers Australia Limited imposed on them as their representative Peak Council.
Sheep Producers Australia is a company limited by guarantee with a State Farm Organisation (SFO) selected special qualification board that morphed from the SFO based Incorporated Association Sheep Council of Australia (SCA) as Australia’s sheep meat producers new Peak Council without a yea or nay plebiscite of sheep meat levy payers.
The problem for Australia’s sheep producers is that not only did they not get a say in the SCA metamorphous into Sheep Producers Australia Limited but their future role in relation to Sheep Producers Australia is limited to rubber stamping the appointment of future Sheep Producers Australia board members chosen by an SFO selection committee.
Thus far Australia’s cattle producers appear to be resisting the siren call to join the slaughter of representative democracy that has engulfed their sheep producing cousins. . . .

Click here to read more

Friday, December 15, 2017

AUSTRALIAN SHEEP PRODUCERS LED LIKE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER


When Huntblog was growing up in the northwest of NSW in 1950’s, Australia was riding on the sheep’s back. Wool sold for a pound a pound and we lived in a representative democracy. Federal Parliamentarians were elected by adult Australian citizens from a number of candidates running for office in different electorates spread across Australia and our State Parliamentarians and Local Government Councillors were elected on a similar basis.
Importantly, in those times, all (or nearly all) the NSW wool and sheep producers belonged to the Graziers Association and the elected President and Secretary of the local Graziers Association branch represented our local area at the District level and the elected District Graziers Association President and Secretary represented our District at the Regional level and the elected Regional President and Secretary headed off to Sydney to represent the Region at the State Graziers Association conference. The elected President and Secretary of each State Graziers Association then headed to Canberra for the Federal Graziers association conference and to lobby the federal politicians.
However, as Bob Dylan so famously sang in the 1960’s, The Times They are A-Changing. . .

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Monday, September 19, 2016

AMPG Submission to Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Regulation of Agriculture

The Australian Meat Producers Group ('AMPG') have made a submission to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Regulation of Agriculture calling for the Commission to:
  1. endorse the amendments contained in the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2016 and recommended by the Australian Government Competition Policy Review in relation to section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2001 (Cth), including the implementation of an 'effects' test;
  2. support the introduction of a mandatory price reporting system similar to the livestock mandatory price reporting regimes in the United States, and also proposed by the European Commission, for beef cattle, as well as other agricultural industries;
  3. support and advocate for the reduction of the undue burden flowing from government influenced costs and charges that disadvantage Australian producers and processors on the global market; and
  4. support Australian agricultural producers' endeavours to form stronger, industry specific, properly-funded advocacy groups as recommended in the RRAT Committee's Grass-fed Cattle Levy Report

To read the full submission please click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cattle Producers Need a Strong Representative Body to Counteract Supermarket and Processor Power - Part 2 - Conclusions and Solutions

This newsletter is the second part of a two part series on the need to strengthen Australia’s grass fed cattle producer representative bodies in order to counteract increasing concentrations of supermarket and processor power.


Please click here to view the rest of the article.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cattle Producers Need a Strong Representative Body to Counteract Supermarket and Processor Power - Part 1 - Identifying the Problems

This newsletter is the first of a two part series on the need to strengthen Australia’s grass fed cattle producer representative bodies in order to counteract increasing concentrations of supermarket and processor power.

Please click here to view the rest of the article.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Conclusions and Solutions Synopsis

The Need to Strengthen Australian Grass Fed Cattle Industry Representation

Part 2 Synopsis

Introduction

Part 1 of HuntBlog’s newsletter on the need for cattle producers to have a strong representative body to counteract supermarket and processor power which was published on 20 April 2016 (a copy of which can be accessed in the "Featured Posts" section to the right or by clicking here) explored:

·         recent parliamentary inquiries into the grass fed cattle organisational structures and concentration of processor power

·         recent government attempts to curb the deleterious effects of increasing supermarket and processor power on the rural sector by strengthening the power of the ACCC

·         reports by the Australian Farm Institute and the National farmers Federation about the ineffectiveness of Australian rural advocacy groups in comparison to successful overseas models,

·         the unsustainable plight of the cash-strapped State Farmer Organisation (SFO) based grass fed cattle Peak Council, Cattle Council of Australia (CCA)

·         the relative financial and representative weakness of CCA in comparison to overseas service fee and levy funded rural advocacy bodies and other Australian levy funded rural advocacy and policy development organisations

·         the different outcomes achieved by American and Australian representative bodies with respect to the quantum of industry taxes and producers share of the retail dollar

Part 2 of that two-part HuntBlog newsletter regarding the need to strengthen Australian grass fed cattle industry representation will be published on 26 April 2016.
                                                                                                                                                          
Conclusions and Solution Synopsis

Next week’s Part 2 of HuntBlog’s newsletter on the need to strengthen Australian grass fed cattle industry representation in order to combat increasing supermarket and processor power will

·         explore examples of successful Australian and overseas rural representative body models that utilise a mix of service fee income and levies to fund their operations; and

·         examine some key recommendations from the recent Senate inquiry into Grass Fed Cattle Levy Funded Structures and Systems that could help strengthen Australian grass fed cattle representation if they were implemented in full or in part.

Part 2 of HuntBlog’s newsletter will also

·         examine possible sources of seed funding for the establishment of the proposed new grass fed cattle representative body proposed by the Grass Fed Cattle Levy Funded Structures and Systems Senate Inquiry report; and

·         suggest a number of levy payer plebiscites that should be conducted, in accordance with the provisions of the government’s Levy Principles and Guidelines, once that new grass fed cattle representative body is established.

Part 2 will also explore the importance of market information for cattle producers operating in a free market economy as well as the methods by which this could be achieved, such as the introduction of a mandatory price reporting system in Australia.

Part 2 will set out safeguard mechanisms that could be implemented through a Statutory Funding Agreement and an amended Memorandum of Understanding to

·         establish a concrete Chinese Wall to ensure that Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) receives sufficient funding to retain its key personnel and carry out its core activities; and

·         to ensure that any levy funds that all advocacy carried out by the new grass fed cattle representative body is funded from interest earned from the RMAC reserve funds and income from services provided to members and not from levies

Part 2 will also examine the proposition that all of MLA's non-core activities should be fully contestable and suggest that the proposed new grass fed cattle representative body model could be adopted by other sectors of the red meat industry.