Kirsty McCormack meets some Braford cows and calves in a breeding operation in Paraguay during the 2017 International Beef Alliance production tour.

How we should tackle fake meat

Rising Champ Kirsty McCormack talks synthetic protein.

FAKE meat is here and has a place on retail shelves.

Australia’s beef industry can’t afford to be reactive on this one. It needs to get on the front foot, tell its story and work with beef producers the world over to place strategy and messaging around the concept.

That’s how young beef leader Kirsty McCormack sees the advent of synthetic proteins, which was the focus of this year’s International Beef Alliance (IBA) youth program.

As the beef industry’s Rising Champion, she travelled to Paraguay for the IBA conference in October to work with other young leaders from global beef producing nations.

Paraguay was a developing country whose heart and soul relied on beef, she said.

“Whether for for self-subsistence or export, the need to increase efficiencies, quality and quantity is crucial for them,” Ms McCormack said.

“Having their own quota to the United States and having access to the European Union and Russia, this somewhat small nation is still making waves in the international beef trade.

“Under conditions similar to those in Northern Queensland, they are running innovative, multi-tiered systems incorporating jungle, forestry, beef and carbon trading schemes.”

Cattle Council of Australia and NAB Agribusiness present the Rising Champions initiative, aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting young people who are passionate about the Australian beef industry.

McDonalds is a silver sponsor and Fairfax Agricultural Media is the event’s exclusive media partner.

Ms McCormack handed over the role to fellow Queenslander Kylie Stretton at a gala event in Alice Springs in November.

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