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Press release September 19, 2018 Meat Australian Lamb Aussie

Despite drought conditions our farmers have had some good news today with a report showing Australia is the world’s leading exporter of lamb in the world.


Independent Chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council, Mr Don Mackay, said the State of the Industry Report 2018 highlights the key economic and community role the Australian red meat and livestock industry plays for the nation – and the potential for it to make an even bigger contribution.

The annual State of the Industry Report 2018 for Australia’s red meat and livestock industry will be launched by Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud at Australian Parliament House today. 

“In 2017, our industry was the lead exporter of sheepmeat in the world despite representing only six per cent of the global sheep flock.”

“We were also the third largest exporter of beef in 2017 behind Brazil and India and the world’s leading exporter of goatmeat in 2016.”

“We also exported 867,056 live cattle, 1.9 million live sheep and 12,245 goats.”

“This represents around $13.3 billion in export earnings.”

Mr Mackay said beyond exports red meat continues to be a key part of how Australians live their life with Australians one of the largest red meat consumers per person in the entire world.

“Our industry continues to be a major employer, employing 438,100 Australians directly and indirectly, supporting 82,500 businesses and generating $65 billion in turnover.”

“90 per cent of these jobs are regionally and rurally based; and our combined workforce accounts for 4% of total industry employment in this country.” 

“And Aussies still love red meat – what we don’t export, we eat. Australians are eating three times as much beef and five times the global average of sheepmeat.”

“Most Australians consider beef to be part of a healthy, balanced diet.” 

State of the Industry 2018 was developed by the Australian red meat and livestock industry’s service provider Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and builds on the inaugural report commissioned by MLA for the red meat industry in 2017. 

It benchmarks where Australia sits in terms of red meat consumption, production, imports & exports, as well as the economic significance of the industry in a world where global red meat demand is projected to grow between 1 – 2 per cent.

Mr Mackay thanked Meat & Livestock Australia for developing the State of the Industry 2018: the Australian red meat and livestock industryand said the report highlighted more than ever the need for good policy for the red meat industry to prosper into the future.

“The Australian red meat and livestock industry generated more than $13 billon for the nation last year and has the potential to grow its contribution through investment in our people, our land and opening up markets,” Mr Mackay said.

“Our industry requires $600 billion in additional investment by 2050 according to ANZ; yet we are the fourth most limited country globally in terms of impediments to attracting foreign investment.”

“National impediments to foreign investment in Australian agriculture have doubled since 2010.”

“The industry is continuing to benefit from Free Trade Agreements in major markets of Korea, Japan and China, but our annual negative impact value of technical barriers to trade remains at a gigantic $3.4 billion per annum.” 

“Our industry has reduced emissions over a ten-year period by 45 percent and our industry has set a clear sustainability agenda through the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework, but we need state and federal government policy that rewards our farmers, feedlotters, retailers and manufacturers for their sustainability contributions to Australia.”  

Mr Mackay added “Last but not least, we face a chronic shortage of people and need to build regions that are an attractive place to work; that facilitates the addition of overseas workers where local labour gaps exist.”

“Australian red meat is currently exported and enjoyed in more than 100 countries around the world. As an industry, we will ensure we continue develop and prosper for the benefit of all Australians.”

“We call on both the Coalition Government and the Opposition to consider how they can help our industry be the most economically, ethically and environmentally robust industry so that we can continue to sustain and nourish Australia.”  


Media please note: Embargoed copy of report available on request. 

Media Contact: 
Anna Campbell, 0448 692 245, [email protected]

About RMAC & our members:  RMAC are a collective group of industry leaders, working across the supply chain to advance the value, reputation and sustainability of 82,000 Australian red meat businesses. Our strategic goal is to unlock $7 billion in growth for our exceptional red meat and livestock industry, through policy, advocacy, advisory and thought-leadership. RMAC works in proud partnership with our six founding members the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, the Australian Lot Feeders Association, the Australian Meat Industry Council, Cattle Council of Australia, Goat Industry Council of Australia and Sheep Producers Australia. 

About MLA: Meat & Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) delivers marketing, research and development services for Australia's cattle, sheep and goat producers, creating opportunities to build demand and productivity across the red meat and livestock industry. Funding comes from transaction levies paid on livestock sales, the Australian government and voluntary contributions from industry partners.


Meat Australian Lamb Aussie