Dealing with Australian Grass Fed Beef Industry Issues

Australian Beef

Producers Barraged by Bureaucracy

Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) is there to look after producers interests. In reality it is a subcommittee of state farming organisations and is undoubtedly the least resourced of all the peak councils and therefore the least effective. The SFO's having financial problems of their own and are very reluctant to actually pay a subscription to CCA. This has left CCA in financial difficulty. In turn, this has led to get a restructure. In the words of their President, “change was not an option”.

Processors’ Peak Council, AMPC, is well resourced by their own levy income and ensures that MLA dances to their tune. The Live Ex (ALEC) and the Lotfeeders (ALFA) also have well known reputations of being extremely strong and vigorous Peak Councils. They control their own levies and contract MLA to work for them.

Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) is the grassfed cattle producer’s Peak Council. CCA does not receive the grassfed levy. Instead, it is funded & controlled by the state farming organisations (SFOs) and is the least resourced of all the Peak Councils, and the least effective. The multifunctional SFO's, with financial problems of their own, are reluctant to have to pay a cattle sector subscription. This has left CCA in constant financial difficulty, leading to a demand for a restructure. The Grassfed levies raise over 50% of MLA’s upkeep, yet producers (CCA) have no say in how that $56m+ is spent, nor the $40m of government matching funds.

AMPC contributes only $9m to MLA’s upkeep, from an annual budget of $18m, plus a $28m reserve. They are a tightknit force, tell MLA how to spend their $9m, and focus on increasing value to their sector only. Eg: their own staff work on R&D, they refuse to spend their budget on MLA’s overseas marketing, and contribute only minimal funds to the domestic marketing budget.

In contrast, Cattle Council Australia has a total income of $1.5M and spends $1.6M!! Of this about $400,000 is income from MLA – CCA contracts to MLA to raise funds to operate their office, despite their producers contributing the most income to MLA. .