Producers air CCA concerns
Grassroots producers need to have an effective voice.
Cattle Council of Australia’s decision to pull out of creating one united voice for grassfed producers under a new, more democratic model has left producers dismayed and disappointed.
Independent CCA director David Hill, who with his wife Liz run a EU accredited breeding and fattening operation at Clarke Creek, said it was disappointing that the State Farm Organisation’s chose to withdraw support for the agreed restructure model.
“Grassroots producers need to have an effective voice and we need to have the support of the majority,” Mr Hill said.
In his role as independent director Mr Hill spends a lot of time away from home attending industry committee meetings.
“While I believe this is critical, as there is a lot of potential for worthwhile change in the near future, rather then expect people to commit to expanded consultation roles that would basically require a full time commitment,” Mr Hill said.
“I am not sure that too many people would be willing to make this level of commitment, because at the end of the day we are beef cattle producers.
“To make the agreed restructure work effectively it would take a level of funding not currently available, so until this happens and the new representative model is put in place, CCA has a duty as the prescribed body to continue to advocate for the necessary changes.”
Central Queensland beef producer Josie Angus, who with husband Blair run 30,000 EU-accredited Angus Belmont Red composite cattle, believes segregating the grainfed and grassfed producers is very detrimental to the beef industry.
She said her key concern for whichever body steps up into this role, would face “death by one million committees”.
“A huge number of committees make decisions that directly affect us as producers,” Mrs Angus said.
“Cattle Council scrambles to have the people and resources to attend these committee meetings and in some instances have to battle for years just to get a seat at the table. No one votes for these committees, no one directly elects them, they are the faceless men of the beef industry.
“Take Safemeat as one example, Cattle Council is but one voice at the table. Safemeat has 14 subcommittees and an executive body making decisions on industry systems such as LPA, NLIS, regulations,and a myriad of different issues that effect us directly.
“I believe that any producer organisation will struggle under the current funding and structural arrangements more broadly in our industry.”