Teys Australia’s Tom Maguire was one of the guest speakers at the recent ABARES Outlook 2018 Conference. During his speech, Tom urged existing industry groups – including the Australian Meat Industry Council and Cattle Council of Australia – to make drastic changes for better representation where all sectors of the beef supply chain work together.
When it comes to change, industry associations have an important role. Teys has made massive changes over the past 7 years to remain competitive, but Mr Maguire questioned what changes industry associations have made in this time. According to Tom, “Teys have started to move from something that’s selling commodities to something that’s really focused on providing solutions for customers. We are working with beef producers to bring them along for this journey – if we don’t have cattle producers working with us and opportunities in the supply chain, we can’t do this… Things haven’t moved on in a way we want to see from a meat industry perspective.”
So, what are the current issues in the Australian meat industry? According to Tom,
“Government induced costs and charges are a really big issue. Labour is a critical issue in Australia where you’ve got shortages in lots of towns. Then there are utility costs – our bill for utilities is going to be around $36 million this year. And market access. These are the sorts of things an effective industry association can get on top of.” Tom mentioned that all of these problems were issues 18 years ago, and that they still haven’t been dealt with.