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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
20 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA Five Nations Beef Alliance NEW ZEALAND The Five Nations Beef Alliance meets face to face every 18 months to discuss issues facing the global beef trade. The meetings allow representatives of beef cattle producers in five countries to share ideas and strategies for advancing the interests of beef cattle producers. The Conference consisted of a mixture of formal talks and farm and industry visits. The farm and industry tours allow visiting farmers and policy staff to understand different production systems. The stocking rates, high inputs and intensive management of northern New Zealand were in stark contrast to the systems that Queensland pastoralists Greg Brown and Peter Hall were used to. While the systems are different, the tours highlighted that the underlying issues facing the industry are the same all over the world. Market access constraints, currency fluctuations, rising input costs and competition with cheaper proteins are issues faced by all five nations member countries. In February 2010 Cattle Council representatives travelled to New Zealand to participate in the Five Nations Beef Alliance Conference. Apart from the ongoing discussion of trade and removal of non-scientific trade barriers, this year's Conference focused on animal welfare, climate change and industry representation. NON TARIFF TRADE BARRIERS The central pillar of the five nations group is a commitment to advocating for fair trade in beef and beef products. A real theme for this Conference was concern over an emergence of different types of non tariff trade barriers, for example the restrictive Country of Origin labeling legislation in the US that is leading to buyer avoidance and discounting of live cattle from Canada and Mexico. Australia and New Zealand also have concerns with grinders restricting their sources of manufacturing grade beef to make it easier to comply with country of origin labeling. The Five Nations group is also concerned about a trend towards animal welfare and environmental issues becoming entangled with trade through issues such as food miles, carbon labeling and restrictive animal welfare legislation. 5NBA Presidents (L-R) Brad Wildeman, President of Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Greg Brown, President of Cattle Council, Oswaldo Chazaro, President of Mexico CNOG, Steve Fogelsong, President of National Cattlemen's Beef Association (America) & Mike Peterson, Chairman of Meat and Wool New Zealand.