Federal Primary Industry Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has recognised there are problems with the collection and distribution of the grass fed producers’ levies, and has called for a Senate inquiry.The Grass Fed Sector is very grateful for the Inquiry, and should provide as much information and support as possible to Minister Joyce, to allow him to make an informed decision so this industry has some chance to go forward in a democratic and constructive manner.What we see now is the coffers of MLA being funded by live shipping 1%, Lot feeders 8%, Processors 9%, Lamb, Mutton and Goat 30% and Grass fed Producers 52%. Grass fed producers pay the lion’s share within the industry, but have little say in how their levies are managed or spent.
An independent evaluation of MSA conducted in 2007 showed $210 million invested in MSA was estimated to have generated $932 million to the beef industry.
However, in the last 13 years beef consumption has declined drastically, while returns to producers per beast sold has not changed since 1994.
The extra money to industry has obviously gone to the processors, supermarkets and retailers. At the expense of producers!
Producers have been continuously confronted with low prices, drought, rising costs and enormous amounts of compliance, with little time to focus on industry issues. We have to change the way we are represented, and how our industry is funded, and made strong.
We have to get behind this Senate Inquiry, and ask that our grass fed representative Board is well funded, and represents the grass fed producers directly, otherwise we can expect more of the same.
If you agree with the attached submission please sign it and forward your copy to the address supplied. Change it to your wording if you wish, but please ensure it is received by the Senate Inquiry Secretary, Mr Tim Watling, by the 1st March, 2014