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