Latest MLA announcement another example of conflict of interest harming industry
Australian Beef Association (ABA) executive Executive officer Officer David Byard has stated that ABA is adamant concerned some key players at the highest levels of the beef industry have conflicts of interest, and these are could having have a a detrimental impact on beef producers.
This follows the recent Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) announcement to of a suggested rollout objective carcass measurement equipment in 90 processing plants throughout Australia at a cost of $150 million. MLA indicated it plans to borrow the $150 million dollars to fund the initiative on behalf of levy payers i.e. cattle and sheep producers.
Mr Byard believes this latest MLA proposal is indicative of the conflicts of interest that are having a negative effect on the beef industry.
“Rather than resulting in positive changes to benefit cattle producers, relationships existing between organisations, companies and major industry representatives are potentially leading to poor outcomes for many people producers battling away to make a living in this sector,” Mr Byard said.
The objective carcass measurement equipment being proposed by MLA in forthe rollout is being developed by a New Zealand company, Scott Technology Limited. “Interestingly, JBS is reportedly a the major shareholder in this company as well as being Australia and the world’s largest meat processor.,” Mr Byard said.
Scott Technology Limited has seven directors on its Board, of which three are JBS executives. These include JBS USA president and chief executive officer Andre Nogueira; JBS Australia CEO Brett Eastwood; and, Edison Alvares a JBS employee who heads the JBS finance and administration team in Australia.
“One would to have think that to have these high ranking senior JBS executives sitting on the Board of Scott Technology could would indicate this is seen a very important part of the JBS empire,” Mr Byard said. “Also, are there conflicts in regards to the co-funding of the development of this equipment via MLA and its potential availability to our overseas competitors?”.
Mr Byard said reforms needed to guide a sustainable industry for cattle producers into the future would be incredibly hard to implement while some people currently in high positions continue to act in various roles.
One wonders where the conflict of interest starts and stops.Whis JBS being a Brazillian company would they take this technology overseas will they pay anything towards using it in their plants in Australia free of charge.