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Livestock exporters welcome Australian Farm Institute report

THE Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council has welcomed the release of a new report providing a detailed analysis of Australia’s $2 billion-plus livestock export industry.
The research report, Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Australian Livestock Export Industry, was undertaken by the Australian Farm Institute for the Livestock Export Program (LEP), a collaborative initiative of LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia.
ALEC CEO Simon Westaway said the report was timely given the global value of the international livestock trade amongst 130 livestock exporting nations had grown significantly since 2001, due to increased demand for dietary protein in developing nations, and a reduction in international trade barriers.
“Research into the economic impact of Australia’s livestock export industries, and future ways to improve its competitiveness, is a vital ingredient in ensuring we remain the global leader in the live trade, in terms of market access and animal welfare standards,” Mr Westaway said.
“The report highlights that Australia’s livestock exports are worth approximately $1.8 billion annually in farmgate returns alone, and earns well in excess of $2 billion annually in export revenue. Beef cattle exports are worth $1.35 billon; dairy cattle exports are worth about $170 million, sheep exports are worth $250 million, and goats exports are valued at about $10 million each year.”
The report cites economic modelling conducted by ABARES and the Centre for International Economics which found that Australian livestock exports generate about 10,000 jobs across regional Australia and that a cessation of the trade would impose a net cost of about $300 million annually on Australian livestock producers.
“This report crystallises the significant value of the Australia’s livestock export industry and backs-up existing research which robustly debunks any doubts about the economic importance of the live trade to the national red meat value chain,” Mr Westaway said.
“Not only does our industry deliver significant and growing economic value nationally and regionally, livestock exporters share a number of strategic objectives with our partners in the meat processing sectors.”
The global trade in livestock has more than doubled in value over the past decade and is now valued in excess of $US18 billion per annum.
“This report is another reminder that as the global trade grows, pressure on Australia’s livestock export sector to remain competitive is greater than ever. This is especially so with competition from exporters in North Africa, Eastern Europe and South America which operate off a lower cost base and with no stated commitment or investment in post-arrival animal welfare,” Mr Westaway said.
“As such, it is vital to ensure Australia’s world-leading supply chain standards are implemented as efficiently as possible and that Australia continues to be at the forefront is pushing for the adoption of similar standards internationally.
“ALEC welcomes this report and commends AFI for its comprehensive and compelling analysis.”

An infographic summarising the report is also available (Inforgraphic-Update-RR), as is a short webinar (link) with Australian Farm Institute executive director Mick Keogh.

A copy of the full report is available on request. Contact: Tom Dawkins via 0476 844 886 or media@livexcouncil.com.au