A PDF version of the publication is available for download here

Farm Institute Insights, Vol. 10, No. 3, August 2013

Australia risks missing a big livestock export and animal welfare opportunity

Trade in live animals is increasing globally, and is likely to accelerate in the future as consumers in developing nations increase their consumption of animal protein. This presents a strong opportunity for Australian livestock industries, and also an opportunity to play a leadership role in contributing to the improvement of animal welfare standards in developing nations.

Abandoning livestock exports from Australia, as some propose, makes little sense from either an economic or an animal welfare perspective. There is clear evidence it would have a negative financial impact on the majority of farm businesses in Australia, and lead to increased sourcing of livestock from other nations, all of which have lower livestock management and animal welfare standards than Australia. Perhaps more importantly, this would also result in declining animal welfare standards in nations that are currently important livestock markets for Australia.

This article outlines trends in the international trade of livestock, and in particular the structural changes in supply chains that are resulting in livestock importing nations increasingly favouring live animal rather than meat imports. It also examines the impact of recent policy developments in Australia, highlighting that they have resulted in much more widespread financial harm to Australia’s farm sector than has been recognised to date. (more)

Readers are invited to continue the discussion on the Institute’s blog.

In the Pipeline

New Institute research explores ways for Australian farm lobby groups to improve their effectiveness. This study will investigate how farmers’ lobby groups in France, New Zealand and Canada effectively support their members; as well as examining the methods of  lobby groups in other sectors of the Australian economy. (more)

Discoveries

Survey indicates confidence in the Australian agricultural innovation system's ability to remain competitive into the future. (more)

In My View

The Hon Bill Shorten MP and Senator the Hon Eric Abetz discuss whether Australia’s wage levels and industrial relations laws are contributing to a loss of competitiveness for the Australian food processing sector, and what measures (if any) should be implemented to increase the sector's competitiveness. (more)

Crossing the Divide

Is this the most error-ridden piece of writing ever about agriculture in a national newspaper? We reprint a letter to the editor originally published by the Australian Financial Review - correcting some very large mistakes about Australian agriculture printed in the original article. (more)

Farm Policy News

In this edition, we report on the finalised EU CAP; US farm bill deliberations; plans to develop Australia’s north; and a possible end to the carbon tax. (more)

Institute Activities

The Annual Agriculture Roundtable Conference will be held on the 6th & 7th of November, 2013 at the Sydney Harbour Marriott. 

The Institute was quoted widely in the media following the announcement that RM Williams Agricultural Holdings’ carbon farming initiative Henbury Station has gone into receivership - providing comment for SmartCompany and Beef Central; with Mick Keogh interviewed by Kristy O’Brien for the ABC News, 7:30 Report NT(more)

Images:  ABC, CSIRO, Dairy Australia, Deniliquin Newspapers, EU, Feral Arts, Jimmy Harris, Murray Goulburn, Sarah Keogh, National Farmers’ Federation, Tim Swinson, Wellard Rural Exports, USDA, Dave Young

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