2013 draft tick,tacks frid 5/1/ 13
The ABA has spent considerable time producing alternatives structures and strategys to the Cattle Council. It
would seem that all alternatives alternatives being put forward are obviously unpalatable to the Cattle Council board.
One of the main issues confronting Cattle Council is where the money going to come from to function independently, it seems they have not worked out a funding source that will make them viable and capable of controlling producers political interests.
It seems that Cattle Council have come some way in its bid to get some sort funding, MLA has come up with a package so as Cattle Council will provide consultancy services to the MLA for $700,000. This will not work for the benefit of producers mainly because there is no independence. All this will do is entrench MLA’s stranglehold on producers levys, that producers have no say in how they are spent.
We have Cattle Council saying they cannot service producers needs with the present staff levels, the question we would ask how can Cattle Council with the present staff afford to find time to take on consultancy work?.
Could it be possible that MLA is very keen to keep Cattle Council in its present state where they haven’t got the resources to question the MLA on behalf of producers. If this goes ahead it could be seen as a master stroke by the MLA Board, with the Cattle Council Board an irrelevant puppet.
The logical answer is a revamped Cattle Council or a similar body that is set up with the sole purpose of looking after producers interests political, R&D and marketing.
Producers could insist that all grass fed statutory cattle levies would be sent to a producer body. This producer body would be for the benefit of producers.
Processors or retailers will not be members, this will ensure the dog wags its own tail, Every transaction would attract a vote with a system similar to AWI, that is tried and tested, this allows all producers to get a vote. This body would be well resourced and could decide what R&D and marketing was desirable for the producers and provide a strong political voice for producers, something we don’t have now but desperately need.
The ABA realises that other sectors of the beef industry, especially the processors and retail sector may feel very threated by a functional and well-resourced cattle producer body and they will put considerable weight and muscle to ensure that producers interests remain dysfunctional.
Who could blame them, they want stock for the least possible price, and stop live shipping which has enormous influence over the price that the producer receive. They certainly don’t want to let producers have a say on marketing and other things that are beneficial to other groups.
Yes 2013 could be a difficult year for beef producers with prices forecast to drop and costs soaring upwards, however this can be mitigated with a solid producer organisation in place.
Mowbray, Launceston, TAS7250