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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Foreword The theme of this year’s Yearbook is Research, Development and Extension. Targetted, relevant and high quality research that can be readily adopted by beef producers is critical to the future viability of this industry. effective research and development, innovation and the capacity for our producers to make a profitable return. W The Australian beef industry exports more than $100 million worth of beef and beef products, each and every week, to more than 100 countries. We are the world’s second largest beef exporter, producing in excess of 2 million tonnes of beef and veal each year, contributing a gross value of more than $11 billion dollars to the economy. Over the past 10 years, Australia has enjoyed strong demand for our quality assured product in domestic and international markets, particularly in Asia and North America. This is big business. The Australian beef industry faces a challenging 12 months ahead, but this will not be without abounding opportunities. The Australian beef industry faces a challenging 12 months ahead, but this will not be without abounding opportunities. This year’s yearbook theme highlights the continued need for the beef industry to invest in targeted research, development and extension (RD&E) inherently linked to the productivity and profitability of Australia’s beef cattle producers. Investment in securing and maintaining sustainable, robust markets for our product is just as important. Beef cattle producers will be crippled in the absence of strong export markets and it is up to the industry itself to ensure this does not happen. 10 We remain extremely concerned regarding the likely impact that an emissions trading scheme will have e must not lose sight of the underlying fundamentals that drive the success of our industry: implementation and extension of on the beef industry. It is apparent that the science is not yet in place that will provide the beef industry with a positive path forward in terms of developing policy. The uncertainty around how industry manages methane mitigation and the sequestration of carbon will remain until reliable science is proven. Influencing the international rules with regard to soil carbon and sequestration is very much a strategic imperative of the Cattle Council. The development of the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) meat grading system is arguably one of world’s great advancements in guaranteeing beef eating quality. I am aware that there is still robust research being conducted that is developing and expanding the MSA grading system to deliver further benefits to producers and consumers. This highlights the on-going and progressive nature of R&D and its potential to deliver an internationally competitive advantage to industry. The “premium grass-fed beef” standard, an initiative that is currently being progressed into a national standard by Cattle Council, will only be possible as a result of having MSA in the industry’s toolbox. 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 10 5/5/09 7:59:44 PM