The Need to Strengthen Australian Grass Fed Cattle Industry Representation
Part 2 Synopsis
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.