Sheepmeat Council of Australia and Australian Meat Industry Council meet to discuss range of sheep industry issues

Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) Directors met with representatives of the Australian
Meat Industry Council (AMIC) in Dubbo on Tuesday 8 August, as part of an ongoing program
of both organisations to ensure the sheepmeat supply chain is able to take a coordinated
approach to industry-wide issues.

Key topics of discussion included;
• a variety of options for a potential change to the Lamb Definition in the Australian
Meat Language, including the definition itself, how to ensure ongoing compliance,
and the potential costs and benefits of making a change,
• the implementation of objective carcase measurement in the sheepmeat industry,
• a market study of the industry commissioned by SCA, and
• market access issues for sheepmeat.

The meeting was also an opportunity for SCA Board Directors and Staff and participants in the SCA’s industry leadership programs to visit Fletcher International Exports, one of the largest sheep processing plants in Australia, to gain first-hand insight into the operations of a major processor and exporter.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia CEO, Dr Kat Giles, said “our meeting was an opportunity for
AMIC and SCA to work collaboratively on a range of value chain issues.

“This will ensure a whole-of-industry response to issues and commitment to ongoing
profitability and sustainability throughout the sector” she said.

“Both organisations have made a firm commitment, on behalf of members, to continue to
work together to strengthen the relationship between producers and processors in the
Australian sheepmeat industry” said AMIC CEO, Patrick Hutchinson.

“It was agreed by both Councils that any definition beyond the New Zealand lamb definition
of a sheep less than 12 months of age or which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in
wear would not currently be beneficial for industry” Dr Giles said.

“An undertaking has been made that the SCA commissioned report, once finalised, will form
the basis for value chain consultation’’ Mr Hutchinson said.

More information:
SCA: KATHLEEN ALLAN 0437 846 605 kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au
AMIC: PATRICK HUTCHINSON 0435 357 942 phutchinson@amic.org.au

Sheepmeat producers to be represented by a modernised peak body

Members of the Sheepmeat Council of Australia voted on Monday to adopt a new governance framework whereby the peak industry organisation will transition to a company limited by guarantee with a new name – Sheep Producers Australia Ltd.

The motions were adopted at a Special General Meeting of SCA in Dubbo, which included a new constitution and agreement for transition to occur before November 2017.

SCA President Jeff Murray says the Council regularly reviews its governance arrangements and decided SCA should refine its operations to better serve Australian sheep producers and in doing so, continue to reflect contemporary governance standards.

“This model brings a raft of opportunities for the entity such as greater engagement with producers and additional capacity for alternate funding and partnership models,” Mr Murray said. “It’s an exciting move for the organisation as the peak body for sheep producers nationally.

“This governance review has been guided by members, who have been involved in a series of consultation meetings over the past few years, along with other key stakeholders, to determine which model would be most suitable for the future.”

SCA CEO Dr Kat Giles says the new structure will give the organisation capacity to accommodate and adapt to changes in its operating environment.

“The organisation will continue to operate under the same Objects, but will introduce a skills-based Board to ensure the best interests of the national industry are promoted. Policy committees will continue to provide policy recommendations for Board approval,” Dr Giles said.

“State farming organisations (SFO’s) will be State Members and there will be provision for organisational members and individual members once the structure is established. The consultation process with producers and industry stakeholders has been extensive with formal governance advice received to ensure we develop the optimum representative organisation.”

“The change to Sheep Producers Australia Ltd, better reflects the role the organisation plays in representing all sheep producers in the production of sheepmeat.

NSW Farmers Sheepmeat Chair Ian Cargill welcomed the change. ‘NSW Farmers sheep producer members will now have a modern, strong peak industry council that can effectively advocate on behalf of our members at the national level to ensure the best outcomes in levy investment and, policy and program development.’

 Importantly, the changes to the constitution are aligned with the organisations’ obligations under the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act. This will ensure that the important oversight relationship with Meat and Livestock Australia will continue.

Meat & Livestock Australia Managing Director Richard Norton says ‘it is critical, given the dynamic domestic and global environment, that sheep producers have a strong representative body that can drive the industry forward’

‘MLA welcomes the new governance arrangements for the sheep industry peak body and looks forward to continuing to have a strong and productive relationship with the organisation, with the shared goal of ensuing sheepmeat research and marketing levy investments contribute to producer productivity, sustainability and global competitiveness’ he said.

The transition to the new company will take place over the next few months and is expected to be completed by November 2017.

Media Contact: Kathleen Allan 0437 846 605 kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au

Sheepmeat industry backs changes to LPA program

Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) is supporting changes to the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program announced today.

SCA President, Jeff Murray said the upgrades will serve to strengthen LPA for the betterment of the sheepmeat industry by ensuring Australia builds on its global reputation as a world leader in food safety, integrity and traceability.

“The industry must continue to work hard to ensure Australia’s red meat production is reinforced by an integrity system that delivers product to customers that meets and exceeds their expectations. The system also allows Australia to maintain its enviable access to new and existing markets, both at home and internationally,” Mr Murray said

“Customers demand a high quality product that is safe and ethically produced. The sheepmeat industry is committed to continual improvement of the integrity system to underpin that claim and grow the sustainability and prosperity of Australian sheepmeat producers.

“SCA is confident that the changes to the LPA program will build our integrity credentials and allow producers to stand by what they sell.”

The upgrades to the LPA program will launch on October 1 and include:

• On-farm biosecurity and animal welfare practices to be included in the LPA program

• LPA accredited producers will need to complete a regular assessment

• As part of a new secure funding model, producers will pay $60 (+GST) for LPA accreditation every three years

• New online learning modules to upskill producers (LPA Learning)

• Further rollout of free electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVD)

SCA CEO Dr Kat Giles said the changes will ensure Australia remains a world leader in red meat safety and traceability.

“Meeting the requirements of the LPA program will continue to provide livestock producers with a competitive advantage and the best opportunity to sell their livestock for the highest possible price in the greatest number of markets.

“A suite of tools and information will be provided to producers between now and October 1 to make the changes as easy as possible.

“SCA, through our Food Safety and Integrity Systems and Animal Health and Welfare Committees worked in close consultation with the Integrity Systems Company and the wider red meat industry on the development and implementation of these changes and to ensure they align with the needs of the red meat industry.”

Producers can access background information on the red meat integrity system at the Integrity Hub, http://www.mla.com.au/integrity. It includes information on the LPA program, the National Livestock Identification System, LPA Learning and producer resources.

More information on the changes can be found at https://www.mla.com.au/news-and-events/industry-news/lpa-changes-ensure-producers-can-stand-by-what-they-sell/

Next round of applications sought for leadership governance training scholarship

Applications are open for the Sheepmeat Industry Governance Scholarship– an opportunity for sheepmeat producers to receive formal training in industry leadership and corporate governance.

There are eight scholarships available for 201/7/18 – each valued at up to $10,000 – through the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia joint initiative, ‘Building Leadership Capability for the Sheep Industry’.

The initiative’s objective is to ensure the Australian sheep industry attracts and retains people with leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry by developing industry capability and capacity.

The governance scholarship is for producers to complete the Company Directors Course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors. It includes all course fees and one year of AICD membership (paid direct to the AICD), travel to the course and accommodation and meals during the course.

The course is a five-day intensive program for board directors, aspiring directors or executives and focuses on the roles, responsibilities and skills required by directors and boards.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia CEO Kat Giles says the Council is committed to ensuring the next generation of sheep producers is equipped to take on positions of leadership in the organisation.

“Strong corporate governance and board leadership skills are crucial to the future of the Australian sheep industry and the AICD Course is a great program to learn the skills important to SCA,” she said.

“Graduates learn key skills such as the roles and responsibilities of being a director, duties around risk, legalities, strategy, financial literacy and driving board effectiveness which is useful at a farm management level as well as representing the industry.”

Participants in the 2016 program, held in Canberra, said:

“The course gave a comprehensive overview of governance structures, relevant legislation, risk management and financial literacy and gave excellent insight into what to look for and what questions to ask to ensure sound Board decision-making. It has increased my confidence and helped to fill skill gaps in financial literacy as well as updating and strengthening other knowledge areas. It is a very positive move that the sheep industry is upskilling those in the industry in corporate governance as it will increase the confidence and effectiveness of decision-making of those involved in the industry which will in turn strengthen the performance of the industry itself.” 

Fiona Rasheed, producer, South East of South Australia

“Completing the AICD Company Directors Course was a really valuable experience for me personally, giving me great exposure to the principles that underpin good governance from grassroots organisations right through to whole-of-industry bodies. The training provided to me and the other participants will help ensure the sheep industry has a growing number of individuals that understand governance and are able to apply those skills within the boards and governing bodies they are part of now and for years to come.

Troy Fischer, producer, Mid North of South Australia

Applications must be submitted before 5pm on Tuesday 1 August 2017. An application form and program flyer with conditions of entry are available online at www.sheepmeatcouncil.com.au/governance

For more information about the Company Directors Course, visit www.companydirectors.com.au

Governance Banner May 2017_FA web

More information and interviews: Kathleen Allan, SCA Industry Leadership and Communication Manager

kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au

0437 846 605

Leadership graduation highlight of big week for SCA in Canberra

The Sheepmeat Council of Australia concluded a full week of activities in Canberra last night, incorporating a quarterly board meeting, governance training for young industry leaders and the graduation of participants in its first national leadership program.

SCA Chief Executive Officer Dr Kat Giles said one of the key topics considered by the Board was the future benefits and opportunities of an Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement (A-EUFTA).

“The EU has an ongoing import requirement for sheepmeat, but the current punitive – and disproportionately low – quota prevents our industry from responding to this demand. A comprehensive FTA offers the prospect of new trade opportunities,” Dr Giles said.

“With Australian and EU officials currently working towards the launch of formal negotiations, the Board, in conjunction with other industry stakeholders, is considering options for securing significant improvements to current access arrangements.

“In animal health and welfare, we discussed how the council could further support efforts to improve lamb survival, which is a critical element for the industry to build the sheep flock and increase overall productivity. We will continue to pursue this issue through our national networks in research, development and adoption to see change.

“Finally, we discussed the biosecurity strategy for the sheep industry and, in particular, how we can bring certain elements around the Sheep Health Monitoring Project, the Sheep MAP, and the Sheep Health Declaration together so they make a lot more sense for producers and they are able to use those tools more strategically.”

SCA President Jeff Murray said work on the SCA restructure was progressing with the aim to transition to a new organisation later in the year.

“Our aim has been to ensure the Board and governance structures are in place to position us for the future and as work on the restructure continues, producers can be confident we are pursuing a model that will provide the industry with the leadership that is needed,” he said.

In addition to the Board meeting, SCA also hosted the final session of the Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program and hosted a two-day governance workshop, as part of the joint SCA and Meat and Livestock Australia project, Building leadership capability for the sheep industry.

SCA Industry Leadership and Community Engagement Committee Chair Michael Craig said the leadership program, run through the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, aims to develop and retain people with leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry.

“Last night, 14 participants graduated from the course which succeeded in enhancing their leadership skills, building confidence and understanding in governance and policy, and developing new networks and friendships that will last a lifetime,” Mr Craig said.

“In addition, 15 young policy officers and sheep producers gained first-hand experience in the council’s work through the Governance in Action workshop that aimed to upskill them in the areas of advocacy, engaging with government and political representatives, personal effectiveness and social media.

“The sheep industry’s future depends on having leaders with the capacity, skills and experience to protect and promote it and as part of the project, SCA is investing in the skills base of the current and future generation of industry leaders and advocates.”

For interviews: Contact Kathleen Allan, Sheepmeat Council of Australia Industry Leadership and Communication Manager, 0437 846 605.

Watch a video on the week online here

SILP participants web 01062017

Photo 1 caption: Participants in the Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program visited Parliament House this week, including (back) Allison Harker, Peter Thomas, Amanda Olthoff, Michael Wright, Alister Persse, Dan Korff, Josh Sweeney, John McGoverne, David Lomas and Ben Haseler with (front) Elise Bowen, David Young, Graeme Sawyer and Isaac Allen.

SCA GiA Group Photo FINAL 31052017

Participants in the SCA Governance in Action program; Toby Locke, James Corcoran, Laney O’Neill, Maxie Hanftt, Annabel Johnson, Jane Kellock, Amy Minahan, Tobie Payne, Catherine James, Michael Craig (SCA Board), Courtney Martino, Verity Price, Ellen Davis, Jeff Murray (SCA Board), Bindi Murray, Brad Bateman, Allison Horswill

EOI call for proven leader to head traceability working group.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia and SAFEMEAT are partnering in the search for a chairperson of the new SAFEMEAT Sheep Traceability Working Group, charged with the task of enhancing the National Livestock Identification System for Sheep and Goats.

The Working Group comprises industry and government representatives and will make further enhancements to the current system by increasing auditing, communications and research and development. These core areas formed recommendations which were part of the SheepCatcher II report.

SCA Chief Executive Officer Dr Kat Giles says the chair position is vital in implementing a strong response to the areas for improvement identified.

“Fundamentally we need a traceability system that meets the performance standards,” Dr Giles said.

“SheepCatcher II showed that there has been improvement since the first SheepCatcher exercise and that traceability performance standards can be met by the current system. As an industry, we need to make those improvements now.

“SAFEMEAT will be assessing the effect of the enhancements through an exercise to be completed by July 2020.”

Dr Giles says SCA has led the charge since the report’s release to coordinate a national approach to improving the system by working with SAFEMEAT Partners

“SCA remains committed to disease control, food safety and ensuring that the products produced are trusted for their safety and their integrity, and are known to have come from farms that care for their sheep and for the environment in which they are raised,” she said.

“Recruiting a proven leader with a strong understanding of NLIS for sheep and goats and drivers of future industry growth will be integral to this process.”

More information: A full position description is available here: Sheep Traceability Working Group Chair TOR June2017. Expressions of interest close on 14 June 2017 and should be submitted via Safemeat@agriculture.gov.au

Employment Opportunity – Policy Officer Animal Health and Welfare

Policy Officer – Animal Heath and Welfare

Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) is the national body representing Australian sheep producers. Our core business is providing strategic and high level technical advice, on behalf of sheep producers, to government and industry service providers in order to position the Australian sheep industry for future success.

The SCA is seeking a Policy Officer – Animal Health and Welfare to join their small, Canberra based team. The role is responsible for managing policy, projects and stakeholder relationships in the area of sheep health, welfare and biosecurity. The successful applicant will have strong policy development skills, high level communication and project management skills and a strong ability to work independently and within a small team environment.

Salary is negotiable based on skills and experience.

Applicants should address the SCA AHW Policy Officer PD and Selection Criteria May 2017.

Further information is available from the Sheepmeat Council of Australia Office on (02) 62695610 or emailing sca@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au.

Applications close 5pm on Tuesday 16 May 2017 and should be sent to: sca@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au or Chief Executive Officer, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Locked Bag 9, Kingston, ACT 2604.

 

Sheepmeat Council of Australia endorses MLA’s DEXA proposal

The Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) has given its support to the rollout of objective carcase measurement across Australia’s sheepmeat sector, noting the multiple benefits for producers and the industry.

Following consideration of the proposal put forward by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) for the voluntary installation of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology in AUSMEAT registered processing plants, the SCA Board endorsed the plan on the basis that the development and adoption of sheepmeat eating quality measurements are fast-tracked and incorporated into stage two of the proposal.

SCA CEO Kat Giles said the proposal to roll out DEXA technology, and upon development, eating quality (EQ) measurement, provided many benefits for the Australian sheepmeat industry and aligned with the goals outlined in the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (SISP2020).

“The SISP2020 outlines the need to develop objective carcase measurement technologies and to facilitate the improvement of information flows across the value chain – and MLA’s proposal delivers this,” Dr Giles said.

“Objective carcase measurement coupled with EQ measurement has the potential to increase saleable meat yield and maintain or improve eating quality to underpin improvements in quality and compliance across the entire sheepmeat value chain.”

“The ability to enable scientific measurement of saleable meat yield and in the future, eating quality, will provide greater feedback of data across the sheepmeat value chain, including giving producers more objective data that will allow for improvements in productivity on-farm.”

Dr Giles said SCA had identified additional benefits for the industry from MLA’s proposal, including using objective measurement to guarantee the product quality of MSA Lamb and the development of an Australian “yearling” product.

“Objective measurement in the long term could also allow industry to move to a system not solely focused on dentition,” Dr Giles said.

SCA will continue to work with MLA and stakeholders along the supply chain to consider the details and logistics for implementation of the DEXA technology. This will include determining a funding model that ensures the technology is available to all lamb and sheep AUSMEAT processing facilities who want to adopt the technology.

Dr Giles said the SCA Board will have final sign off on any funding model before any rollout proceeds.

ENDS

Media Contact: Kathleen Allan 0437 846 605 kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au

Sheepmeat industry seeking applications for leadership development program

The Sheepmeat Council of Australia is calling for producers to apply for its new professional development program designed to build leadership skills and develop networks.

The inaugural Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program is part of the SCA and Meat & Livestock Australia joint initiative, ‘Building Leadership Capability for the Sheep Industry’ and will be run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF).

ARLF CEO Matt Linnegar says leadership at every level across rural and regional Australia is vital to the success of our communities and industries.

“With a growing demand for high quality red meat and increasing expectations around animal welfare, the need for producers to look beyond the farm gate to the greater good of the sheepmeat sector is more important now than ever,” he said.

“The program will take participants outside their comfort zone, help build diverse relationships and networks, connect them with industry leaders and build personal awareness and capacity to take the next step.

“It will take people to places they are unlikely to have been before and see them emerge more aware and better equipped to take on a future role in the industry, wherever that may be.”

The program includes two intakes – in 2017 and 2018 – and SCA will select 15 participants per year. Each position is valued at more than $10,000 each and covers all the training, course materials and travel to the two face-to-face sessions. Participants will be required to contribute $500 to the cost of their participation in the program.

The closing date for the program has been extended until 5pm on 21 November 2016.

SCA Skills Development and Communication Manager Kathleen Allan says the council is investing in the program to ensure the sheep industry attracts, develops and retains people with leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry.

“Through involvement with the SCA, participants will develop a greater understanding of leadership roles and responsibilities in the industry and the value of collaborations, advocacy and effective negotiation,” she said.

An application form and information sheet with entry requirements are available online at www.sheepmeatcouncil.com.au/SILprogram

Media contact: Kathleen Allan, 0437 846 605, kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au

SCA launches new sheepmeat industry leadership program

The Sheepmeat Council of Australia is today launching a new professional development opportunity for sheepmeat producers and others in the industry to build leadership skills and develop networks.

The inaugural Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program is part of the SCA and Meat & Livestock Australia joint initiative, ‘Building Leadership Capability for the Sheep Industry’.

The initiative’s objective is to ensure that the Australian sheep industry attracts, develops and retains people with leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry.

The new SCA leadership program will be run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, a not-for-profit company that works to develop leaders with a focus on influencing change across organisations, industries and communities in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The program includes two intakes – in 2017 and 2018 – and SCA will select 15 participants per year. Each position is valued at more than $10,000 each and covers all the training, course materials and travel to the two face-to-face sessions. Participants will be required to contribute $500 to the cost of their participation in the program.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia President Jeff Murray says the SCA wants to champion leaders in the industry and upskill them to take on greater roles in the future.

“Through involvement with the SCA, participants will develop a greater understanding of leadership roles and responsibilities in the industry and the value of collaborations, advocacy and effective negotiation,” he said.

“Participants will build relationships and networks through communication, influence and new technology application and be connected to the existing industry leaders and experiences of ‘stepping up’ for the industry.

“The sessions will be designed to challenge participants, both personally and professionally, in a safe learning environment, and to improve their leadership practice and understanding of governance.”

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 31 October 2016. An application form and information sheet with entry requirements are available on the SCA website.

Media contact: Kathleen Allan, 0437 846 605, kallan@sheepmeatcouncil.com.au