Friday, August 6, 2010

MLA FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG ABOUT BEEF’S BIGGEST MARKET

David Palmer, CEO of MLA, has been quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald (Wednesday 4th August) as saying:

“We know that Australians eat roughly 100kg of meat each year…its finite…it is about how we divide that.”

Australia’s per capita meat consumption is in fact far in excess of 100 kg. The recent annual totals are as follows:

2006: 115 kg
2007: 117.5 kg
2008: 110.8 kg
(ABARE)

The present average of 114 kg represents an 8kg increase in consumption since 1990, when Australians ate only 106 kg.

It is a concern that the CEO of MLA has the mistaken belief that the total meat consumption in Australia is finite and if consumption of one type of meat, eg poultry, goes up the consumption of the other meat products must fall by an equivalent amount.

This has not been the case in Australia nor in the United States, where beef consumption has generally held up, despite similar increases in chicken consumption over the last 15 or 20 years, at a total of 125 kg per person.

MLA's failure to understand that the total "meat consumption pie" can increase will affect the marketing and promotional decisions they make. Such basic misconceptions are no doubt contributing to the failure of the MLA do address the long term decline in Australian per capita beef consumption.

Mr Palmer also appears to be treading on egg shells in his comments in the SMH because he is fearful that the new beef promotion campaign may affect lamb meat sales.

This bares out the concerns raised in the Beef Industry Strategic Plan, produced by Hunt Partners for the Beef’s New Direction Task Force, which concludes that there should be separate sheep and beef corporations because essentially lamb and beef are competing products.

Read the SMH article HERE.

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