Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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.

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.

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, October 16, 2018


Win-Win for the EU, Lose-Lose for Australia

The European Union floods Australia with tariff-free bacon but plans to hand a big portion of Australia’s tariff-free high quality beef EU access to the United States of America
In a shock announcement on the 3rd of September this year that has been largely un-reported in Australian media, the European Union Agriculture Commissioner, Mr Phil Hogan, advised that the Commission is recommending that the EU Council should effectively transfer a huge slice of Australia’s highly lucrative tariff-free 481 grain fed beef quota access to the United States of America.
This announcement has been made despite representations made by both the EU and the US to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in 2009 that the tariff-free 481 EU Beef Quota would not be country of origin discriminatory. In short, Commissioner Hogan has recommended that the EU mandate a vote to increase the US quota to 35,000 tonnes, leaving only 10,000 tonnes of the 45,000 tonne 481 EU Beef Quota to be shared amongst 4 countries.
The European Union 481 Beef Quota is the only tariff-free quota available to Australian beef producers and Australia has been the major supplier to this quota since 2010, supplying some 17,000 tonnes of the 45,000 tonne quota.
Australian industry participants in this EU beef trade say that a reduction of this size to Australian access would render the remaining beef quota access to the EU largely unusable...

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Monday, January 22, 2018


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. . . .

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Wednesday, January 3, 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. . . .

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Friday, December 15, 2017


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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