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The 1998 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Business Industry Strategic Plan includes concerns that per capita beef consumption was on a long trend decline of about 1.7% per annum.

They were right – per capita consumption of 38kgs in 2000, has fallen to 32.2kgs in 2013, and forecast to slide even further.

The fact is that the MSA was developed by MLA to arrest sliding beef consumption, and it has clearly failed.

In the 2008/9 MSA Annual Outcomes Report claims that retail meat premiums for MSA graded meat was up by 20% while overall carcass value (to the abattoir) is up 8.4% on average.  However, none of this has resulted in increased sales of beef, and the fact is that it hasn’t led to any value in price to the producer.

Last November, at the 2013 Senate Estimates Committee hearings, MLA suggested that they had invested $93.8 million in MSA.

Perhaps MLA might like to reread their own ‘stated facts’ from a 2007 independent report, in which they advised that MSA had cost $210 million to implement!  They had also predicted that this investment would generate $932 million into the industry, through value adding across the red meat industry. MLA has published a number of reports all with different costs for MSA.

Several MLA publications, years apart, that makes fascinating reading.

The fact is misinformation given to ACCC and parliamentary inquiries by various people and companies has been nothing short of a disgrace.

Minister Joyce when discussing the up-coming senate inquiry stated that anybody giving false information to the senate inquiry would face a two year jail term.  If this threat is retrospective there must be a lot of nervous people out there.

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