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This is one producer’s story:

Dear Company directors/ CEO’s,

I write to you all tonight after a long process of research, real life experience and a deep sense of frustration leading to anger. I have dealt with all five of your meat companies over the years. It is an undisputed fact that your companies set the price and process probably 80% of Australia’s red meat. There are a few like Kilcoy, Bindaree, T&R that aren’t in the frame. I am a cattle and sheep producer and there is more than enough about me and my background on the two links to my weblog site. I have had 35 years’ experience and know what I’m doing and how to maximise any situation as do all of you people running these huge outfits. The object of this mail is to point out a few home truths that I would guess have barely ever crossed your desks.

I must thank Geoff Teys for hearing me out yesterday and he told me numerous times that producer returns were his priority. JBS-Brent Eastwood is away, Nippon has Christopher Fenwike and hopefully this email will be forwarded. I rang Brett Thompson who assured me he would forward this to Andrew Gowdy- Woolworth’s National manager. Richard Goyder and Ian McLeod of Coles/Wesfarmers. To cut to the chase- JBS, Teys, and Nippon were active in the UNLIKEY ALLIANCE- see three photo attachments of April 2010 vintage. The supermarket people are probably breathing a sigh of relief that they weren’t named or involved but you have been given a totally free ride on the back of this action. From Easter this year to now I have been totally put through the blender and probably won’t be in business in the New Year and if it rains and I am- I won’t have any income for at least two years. Let me explain.

The ALLIANCE’s objective came to fruition this year when all the built up numbers from the NQ and NT ran out of feed and rather than die at home were sent off for 99 cents a kg delivered to the downs or the plants. They filled every feedlot in a week and I get stuck with EU blacks till mid-winter- a space booking with no price. I sent all on agistment and wasted $30K. This would have been THIS year’s income. Because of the turmoil with agistment, etc. – weaning is late and we no sooner had done that and decided to get rid of all the saleable weaner + and send off a long way to Tamworth where EU Blacks would normally be appreciated. Clear $260 per head for half strs and half hfrs for $460 at end of August( NEXT YEARS income). I had 900 cows to calve Oct/Nov and I knew then that at $10,000 per week that we were spending- the $120K would be gone by end of November- AND IT HAS! So the poor little calves being born and mothers that weak they nearly blow away is THE FOLLOWING YEARS income. About 100 cows have died and I would not put a valuation at all on any of them.

Breeding Properties like this normally Join the Bulls on December the 1st to make the phantom calf in the never-never… and that is FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWING years income..

This is simply not going to happen – maybe EVER again. Ian McLeod- you are big on “Sustainability” and must know that the first step in that is to be profitable!

You people are no doubt very capable people but with all due respect – if you had the hand dealt to me and my peers – I don’t see you lasting any longer than I will.

Now – back to the alliance! The 1000-head that I’ve given away this year are at least $200 per head under what they would have got a year prior. This is confirmed http://www.beefcentral.com/p/news/article/3935 Where Roma average value went from $674 to $452 in 11 months. Therefore the “UNLIKELY ALLIANCE” has cost me $200000 at the very least. This is what I would normally be fighting the drought and buying enough lick and blocks and mulga to see through to the good times. $2.20 a kg is a minimum- not $1.30-$170. Geoff Teys was the only one of a number of high ranking people who was aware that quality steers in the US were bringing $4 LIVEWEIGHT last week! JBS gave me $3.70 dw for competition steers that we had put $611 per head in feed costs to. World meat prices are at a historical high! Livestock prices in Aust are at a historical LOW and why is this?

We are a stupid country that lets corporates do whatever they like and competition is zero amongst all of you. SUPPLY has been CAPTURED and I can’t ever see a voluntary/ compassionate price increase ahead. I think that it is fair to ask you all to kick in $40 K each to keep your future alive in my cow herd but since that won’t happen – I don’t see why me and my peers should subsidise your record profits WITH OUR bank overdrafts. The drought is nasty but normally a high price keeps us interested!

Why should the Australian Taxpayers have to fork out (30K is the max that I can claim) when you lot have conspired and robbed me of $200K this year alone. For punishment and also as a minimum requirement for me to ever produce again- I have submitted a Bill to Mr Joyce called the PRIMARY PRODUCTION PRICING Bill (PPP) for his consideration.

In a sentence- it simply means that there must be full DISCLOSURE of all contract pricing and EQUAL ACCESS or no favouritism to supply same, meaning first in subject to meeting buying specs. The politicians cc’ed into this mail can contact me or Barnaby’s office for detail. I am deadly serious about all this as it is not pleasant to see 5th generation kids watching their father who has always been the born optimist – reduced to peasant status in 8 months. I also maintain it is through no fault of myself. I would appreciate a reply or explanation to all this ,

Thanks for your time,

Rob Moore “Grassmere” Mitchell 4465 QLD 07 46257321

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