Cattle Producers Australia initiated arrangements for a roundtable meeting with various industry stakeholders as outlined in a recent media release titled: Cattle Producers Australia Progressing Reform for Industry. Following on from this Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud has offered to provide support for the roundtable meetings.

Minister Littleproud has highlighted the important role that good industry representation can play in guiding the policy and funding deliberations of the Australian Government and noted that well resourced and high performing industry bodies are in everyone’s best interest.

Minister Littleproud expects the support will assist in settling a forward pathway, mechanism and timeline for reaching agreement on a national cattle producer representative model that will satisfy the needs of cattle producers across Australia.

Following on from Minister Littleproud’s offer of support, a meeting was arranged between members of Cattle Producers Australia and Cattle Council of Australia by the Department of Agriculture in Brisbane on Wednesday16th December 2020. The meeting was facilitated by Brain Ramsey of Inovact Consulting.  A Subcommittee was set-up to progress the reform process and a Communique prepared by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on the outcome of the Roundtable Conference was issued.

The meeting has raised significant expectations among our ranks that this process may be a catalyst for effective representational reform.

We are pleased that there has been recognition and agreement across the grass-fed beef industry for strong levy-payer representation, engagement and say in how levies are spent.  We continue to work with key stakeholders to seek cohesiveness across the grassroots to further the progress for reform. 

Progressing CPA / CCA reform

A second Roundtable meeting took place on the 22 February 2021 in Brisbane where the Grass-fed Cattle Industry Roundtable National Representation Discussion Paper was tabled and agreement to explore these options further provided in the Discussion Paper Post Roundtable Meeting.

CPA’s initial consultation process also indicates broad agreement from other leading stakeholders within the grass-fed cattle industry. 

The proposed organisational restructure for the grass-fed cattle producer sector will deliver a financially sustainable organisational model that directly and truly represents the grass-fed cattle sector in an accountable, transparent and inclusive manner. The new model will assist in guiding the policy and funding deliberations of the Australian Government.

As can be seen in the links, the agreed structure duplicates the two-company structures that apply to the red meat processing and live export sectors which both have a representative advocacy body and a levy funded R&D Corporation. This revised structure will provide the grass-fed cattle industry with greater control and direction over the expenditure and investment of the levies that its members pay. The MoU would be amended to ensure agreement on the amount of funds to be distributed to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) to safeguard its ongoing role.

The Representative advocacy body (temporarily named Beef Industry Australia (BIA)) will initially have a 23 person Policy Advisory Council made up of 15 democratically elected levy paying cattle producers and 8 cattle producer Councillors will be appointed by the SFOs. The 15 Policy Advisor electorates and the 23 person Policy Advisory Council will be reviewed by the grass-fed cattle producer sector through a plebiscite after two years.

The BIA Board will be guided by the Policy Advisory Council and focus on organisational governance and industry strategy. The BIA Board will be elected through a split voting register to cater for both small and large cattle producers.

It is important to note that the proposed R&D Corporation (CattleCorp) will be a low cost structure and a skills-based board appointed by an independent selection committee.

See Diagrams below for better understanding of the proposed Structures:

a) Representative structure and function for cattle levy payers

b) BIA representative organisation

c) CattleCorp R&D organisation

d) Potential Funding Mix Diagram

Cattle Producers Australia in January 2019 wrote a submission to the Red Meat Advisory Council’s (RMAC) Task Force Review who were seeking advice from stakeholders within the red meat industry on proposals for a new model for the Red Meat Industry – seeking a review of the Memorandum of Understanding, levy funding arrangements, industry representation and agreed priorities. A Green Paper was written and the RMAC than sought comment on the the Green Paper and a White Paper named a Better Red Meat Future, A White Paper for the Red Meat Advisory Council was produced by the Task Force.

See the link to: The CPA Submission to the MoU Task Force Review 

CPA also responded to the Green Paper with a submission which sets out a further option for a logical strategy to underpin the future of our industry. See link to: Cattle Producers Australia – Final Red Meat MoU Review Submission 150419 which was designed to define the reform process needed to bring the red meat industry structures up-to-date for current and future industry needs.

For convenience direct link is provided for pages 11 to 19 of the 25 January, 2019 CPA pre- RMAC Red Meat MOU Review submission on Peak Industry representation and a link to the Executive Summary and Chapter 2 (Current and Prospective Red Meat Industry Organisational Needs) of the 15 April 2019 CPA Red Meat MOU Submission are attached.