CPA endorses the Coalition of Grass-fed Levy Payer’s Open Letter to the Minister Rejecting Red Meat Industry ‘White Paper’

In an Open Letter sent to the Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie, Chair of CPA Dr Paul Wright endorsed the recent letter sent to the Minister from a Coalition of Grass-fed Levy Payers rejecting the Red Meat Industry Council (RMAC) MoU Review White Paper.

In it’s letter (see below), Dr Paul Wright emphasised the need for the industry restructure to provide the mechanisms to resolve the inherent commercial conflicts of interest between the sectors by ensuring:

  • A powerful advocacy voice is given to each sector; and
  • Each sector be given control of the expenditure of their levies.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

5 September 2019

Open Letter
The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Agriculture
Deputy Leader of the National Party
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister McKenzie,

Please find attached a copy of an Open Letter written to you on 30 August 2019 and supported by a range of cattle producer organisations across Australia.

CPA endorses the general thrust of the attached letter and supports its rejection of the proposals contained in the RMAC MoU Review Committee White Paper which proposes a top down organisational model that denies cattle producers, who contribute a large proportion of the gross levies, any effective democratic representation.

CPA supports the key components of the attached letter promoting a democratic levy payer representative structure. CPA believes the MLA Donor Company needs restructuring, however we support your view, that the red meat industry continues to receive $ for $ Federal Government R&D funding.

As stated in the CPA submission to the Red Meat MoU Review, CPA recognise the merit in the establishment of an overarching RMAC like structure to address an agreed ‘white list’ of issues of common commercial interest to all sectors of the red meat industry.

In addition to supporting the seven recommendations contained in the Senate inquiry into the Structures and Systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle Structures CPA also supports the recommendations set out in the most recent Senate Inquiry into the Effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector handed down in September 2017 and in particular from a grass-fed cattle producer perspective recommendations 4 & 5:

  • Recommendation 4 “…that the Australian Government provide immediate support, including appropriate financial assistance, to the grass-fed cattle sector in its efforts to replace Cattle Council of Australia with a transparent   and accountable producer-owned body as the sector’s Peak Industry Council.” And
  • Recommendation 5 “…that the Australian Government officially recognise Cattle Australia (now Cattle Producers Australia) as the grass-fed cattle sector’s Peak Industry Council under the Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997 and Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding once it is operational and has a membership structure in place.”

CPA maintains that, for the Red Meat Industry restructure to gain support from Australian cattle producers and to succeed in its function to equip the industry with an appropriate structure that benefits the whole red meat industry, that structure must allow and welcome emerging trends and opportunities in an open and participatory manner.

It is necessary to provide the mechanisms to resolve the inherent commercial conflicts of interest between the sectors proposed in the Red Meat Australia White Paper by ensuring:

  • A powerful advocacy voice is given to each sector; and
  • Each sector be given control of the expenditure of their levies.

The Australian red meat industry turnover is in excess of $60B each year, employs over 400,000 people, contributes $18B to Australia’s annual gross domestic product and earns over $14B in export revenue. It is now 23 years since the last review of the red meat industry structures was undertaken and it is commonly recognised that the current red meat industry organisational structures are outdated and need to be reformed and it is imperative that cattle producers be given a voice.

Kindest Regards,

Dr Paul Wright
Chairman
Cattle Producers Australia (Implementation Committee)
“Woongarra”
Taroom  Qld  4420
Phone 0746286185 Mobile 0438286185

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s