Sheep Producers Australia has reported on its first eight months in its new advocacy company structure and outlined its focus for 2019 at its Annual General Meeting yesterday.
In addition, two candidates – Mr Ian McColl and Dr Elizabeth Jackson – were elected to the SPA Board by its state farming organisation members.
SPA Independent Chair Chris Mirams said the key focus in 2019 would be on developing a three-year strategic plan to ensure the organisation continued to provide relevant, timely and valuable services to the Australian sheep industry.
“This work will be informed by extensive consultation with our SFO members and producers and discussing with them the key opportunities and challenges for the industry ahead as well as their needs from SPA as their peak industry council for sheep,” he said.
“The SPA Board is keen to see our new Leadersheep Network expanded through online engagement in providing professional development and engaging the next generation of our industry and our organisation’s leaders early in their leadership careers.
“At a broader level, SPA will also be providing input to the 2025 Meat Industry Strategic Plan and commencing development of a Sheep Industry Sustainability Framework to 2025 to enable the industry to meet significant strategic challenges and opportunities.”
Outgoing SPA President Allan Piggott highlighted the achievements and challenges which SPA faced in 2017-18.
“In 2018, there have been a number of significant policy items on the agenda for SPA, including those with potential for on-farm change,” he said.
“Major policy activities included conducting a national review of market structures and consulting with industry regarding the definition of lamb and future management of OJD.
“In addition, the uncertainty around exports of live sheep has also weighed heavily on SPA and producers. SPA has worked with the National Farmers Federation and members to facilitate dozens of meetings with politicians and industry stakeholders to outline our view of the importance of the trade to Australia.
“One of the highlights has been the launch of the new SPA Leadersheep Network, designed to connect sheep producers and people working in the industry who share the goal of driving industry growth and success.
“The power behind SPA is its people, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the board directors, the small but hard-working team of staff, the SFOs and, in turn, the producers of Australia. It has been a great opportunity to work with each of them.”
Mr Mirams thanked outgoing President Allan Piggott for his service to SPA, and its predecessor Sheepmeat Council of Australia.
“Allan has contributed significant time and energy to SPA in the past year. Allan leaves SPA in a very sound position with a great board, a new CEO and a wonderful group of enthusiastic and capable staff,” he said.
Biographies of the new board directors are:
Dr Elizabeth Jackson
With a first-class Honours degree in Agribusiness Marketing and a Master of Business Administration, Elizabeth has held various management position at the CBH Group and in other Western Australian agribusinesses. In 2008, Elizabeth completed an ARC-Linkage PhD studentship to study for the WA wool industry. She then worked at Newcastle University (UK) where she was the Degree Programme Director of the BSc Agribusiness Management degree and published on food marketing, supply chain management and maritime economics. In 2014, Elizabeth moved to the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College where she became a Senior Lecturer in Business Management and published on agribusiness and food supply chains. She was the Course Director for the College’s Professional Doctorate degrees in agribusiness and veterinary practice. Elizabeth is now a Senior Lecturer within Curtin Business School where her teaching relates to supply chain management, procurement and distribution and she continues to investigate agri-food systems.
Mr Ian McColl
Ian owns and manages a mixed farming enterprise at Koorawatha, NSW, producing up to 2000 lambs and 100 steers. In 2017, he entered a joint venture feedlotting lambs. Ian is currently a Director of Sheep Producers Australia Ltd (SPA), Chair of the SPA Sheep Health and Welfare Committee, Chair of the SPA Lamb Survivability Project, a member of the NSW Farmers Executive Council, Chair of the NSW Farmers Biosecurity Committee, Member of the NSW Farmers Sheepmeat Committee and Member of Farmers for Climate Action. Ian’s experience as a past President of Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Board Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council, Member of the National Farmers Federation and a Partner of Safemeat, affords him diverse knowledge of the systems in which SPA operates.