Recently, our Chief Value Chain Officer Tom Maguire addressed the QLD Rural Press Club show breakfast. This breakfast, held at the Ekka, drew a crowd of more than 700 people. Tom spoke about various topics – one being the importance of bridging the gap that currently exists between the beef industry and beef consumers.
In Tom’s words – beef consumers “are concerned about city matters, while we have different concerns [from an industry perspective]… It’s a matter of starting the conversation about what we do in areas like animal welfare, and we hope this will be the start of an improved relationship.”
Tom spoke about how the industry needs to avoid revisiting the ‘head in the sand’ approach that was popular during the animal-welfare-driven live export closure episode in 2011. According to Tom, this approach doesn’t work, and often – when these conversations have happened in the past – processors and producers have just said “leave me alone” and failed to address the concern.
The beef industry needs to remember how important beef consumers are – after all, it’s their money that funds agricultural operations. “We really need to understand who we are dealing with… People these days live in a concrete jungle, and fewer and fewer people actually understand what we do… We need to get them to understand what the red meat industry is all about.”
Tom also addressed the uproar surrounding lab-grown meat as well as various other issues – you can read more at Beef Central.