It was fantastic to have strong industry engagement as we kicked off the first SA Beef Cattle Industry Blueprint scoping workshop at Naracoorte on Tuesday, with participants showing an enthusiasm to grow the state’s beef sector during the next 10 years.
The wider agricultural and food industry is of critical importance to the SA economy, with 147,000 people employed in food and agriculture in SA and about one-in-five working South Australians employed in agribusiness. Growth in beef industry value has been an important contributor, supported by implementation of actions from the previous State Beef Industry Strategic Plan which ran from 2005-2015.
SA’s beef cattle industry employed more than 10,000 people and generated an estimated $1.47 billion in gross revenue in 2015-16. At present, it does not have an overarching plan guiding industry development. So, the Beef Blueprint will be key to coordinate effort to strategically grow the industry’s value and employment, particularly in regional SA.
Following the success of the SA Sheep Industry Blueprint, launched in April last year, the Beef Blueprint aims to increase on-farm productivity, increase quality, and maintenance of quality through the value chain. It also aims to develop the management capability of the industry to run successful businesses – both on-farm and post-farmgate and to improve business owners and managers’ abilities to manage risks they may be exposed to, such as market fluctuations and climate.
Livestock SA wants to see all sectors of the industry represented in the Beef Blueprint and to have input from all of the different production systems across the state, including pastoral, grassfed and grainfed beef cattle enterprises. We want all stakeholders including producers, producer groups, feedlotters, processers, retailers, exporters, researchers and government to become involved with the development of the plan. Working collectively will allow us to grow the beef industry, with positive outcomes for the individual, as well as the state economy.
It is expected that the Beef Blueprint will be developed during the next six months, with engagement with key industry groups such as Meat and Livestock Australia to ensure the targets are realistic and are appropriately aligned with the relevant national plans, in particularly Meat Industry Strategic Plan and Beef Industry Strategic Plan. In addition, the Blueprint development will be linked with the Southern Australian Meat Research Committee SA Regional Committee, which is also coordinated by Livestock SA.
The University of Adelaide, through the JS Davies Research Centre, will also be a key partner and Beef Blueprint objectives will help to drive research outcomes.
Further engagement in the Beef Blueprint will continue in the following months, in particular at the next Livestock SA Southern Region Meeting in July, and at the Growing SA Conference on August 11 at Hahndorf. I encourage all interested stakeholders to have input into its development.
– Andrew Curtis, Chief Executive Officer of Livestock SA