How we are governed
MLA is the declared industry marketing body and the industry research body under sections 60(1) and 60(2) of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act.
Our marketing and research and development activities are guided by a robust corporate planning and reporting framework.
MLA's corporate governance framework is set by the Board having regard to the best interests of our members, the values of our organisation, MLA's obligations set out under our Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia dated 8 October 2020, and in accordance with the ASX Corporate Governance Council's Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (4th edition).
This long-established framework operates to ensure we remain accountable to our stakeholders and that stakeholder interests are protected. MLA's governance arrangements are reviewed regularly to reflect industry developments, stakeholder expectations and regulatory and legislative changes. Read our corporate governance statement and documents and policies relevant to our corporate governance framework.
The MLA Board's nine directors combine a broad range of skills, experience and expertise to work with industry to set strategic priorities for the company and to approve and monitor progress against MLA's Strategic Plan 2025. It evaluates performance and budgets, oversees risk management and compliance, and ensures the company abides by its obligations under the Red Meat Industry Memorandum of Understanding, the Funding Agreement, and under corporations law. Many directors are also producers and members of the company.
MLA has three Board committees comprised solely of nonexecutive directors, with management attending committee meetings by invitation only.
The Board meets six times a year. The agendas for each of the MLA Group of companies are formulated in preparation for each meeting. They incorporate items from an annual work plan to ensure regular review of key aspects of the business of the MLA Group including performance, compliance and governance.
Meeting agendas include regular reviews of MLA's financial position and management reports, detailed reviews of the company's strategic imperatives and marketing and R&D programs.
The Board continually strives to ensure its meetings are conducted efficiently to enable sufficient discussion and contribution from all directors. The Board regularly considers and discusses key strategic issues at both a group company and industry level. Management attends and presents information relevant to their portfolios and to respond to information requested in Board meetings.
The Board considers each director's independence on an annual basis. Directors are considered to be independent if they are not a member of management and are free of any business or other relationship that materially interferes with – or could reasonably be perceived to materially interfere with – the independent exercise of their judgement. In assessing a director's independence, materiality is considered on a case‑by‑case basis by reference to each director's circumstances. A policy on the independence of directors, which requires that the Board assess independence annually, or more regularly if a director's circumstances change, is currently implemented and in force. The Board has determined that all the non-executive directors are independent.
Conflicts of interest
In accordance with the requirements of the Corporations Act, the Funding Agreement and MLA's conflict of interest policy and procedures, directors must declare any conflict of interest they may have and must follow the procedures set out in MLA's policy.
In certain circumstances, directors will abstain from participating in any discussion or voting on matters in which they have a material personal interest. At the time of their appointment and as notified from time to time, each director provides to the Board information about their business and other interests.
The Board records such notifications in its minutes and maintains a register in accordance with the ASX Corporate Governance Council's Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (4th edition) and in compliance with the requirements of MLA's Funding Agreement.
Remuneration and performance arrangements
The total limit for directors' remuneration (excluding the Managing Director) is $750,000. This limit was determined by members at the 2008 Annual General Meeting. The total cost for non-executive directors in FY23 was $697,184.
MLA recognises the importance of a workforce that represents a range of experience and backgrounds as well as age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and physical abilities. The diversity and inclusion policy recognises that a diverse workforce enables MLA to provide a better service and improve long-term performance, as well as creating a source of competitive advantage and benefit to industry and its people.
As at 30 June 2023, 56% of MLA's staff were women. On the Leadership Team, two of seven (33%) executives are female. On the MLA Board, three of the eight non-executive directors are female (33%).
Planning & reporting
Read about our Planning & reporting here
Annual Investment Plan
Annual Investment Plans are prepared each financial year to guide the practical delivery of MLA’s long-term investment priorities and outcomes, which are set out in MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025.
MLA's Annual Investment Plan 2023-24 has been developed to inform levy payers, peak industry councils, the Australian Government and the wider industry about MLA’s planned work program.
MLA's Annual Report 2022-2023 presents MLA’s activities, outcomes and financial performance during 2022-2023.
Performance reviews are a requirement of MLA's agreement with the Australian Government which covers key areas of strategy setting, stakeholder consultation and corporate governance.
Performance reviews are an important aspect of MLA’s five-year planning cycle. The latest independent review was the most comprehensive examination of MLA’s performance ever, and covered the five-year period to 2020.
Evaluation allows MLA to understand the social, environmental and economic impacts its investments make in the Australian Red Meat Industry as well as Australian society more broadly, including animals and the environment. MLA’s statutory funding agreement requires that it invests in products and programs which seek to generate impact for Australian Red Meat Industry stakeholders including levy payers and the Australian community.
Read more on MLAs Triple Bottom Line Evaluation Framework here.
Annual General Meeting
MLA strives to ensure all members have the opportunity to participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by rotating its location around the nation.
All MLA members are entitled to at least one vote at the AGM.
The 2023 AGM will be held a hybrid event and the physical location will be Bendigo, Victoria.
The 2022 AGM was held in North Sydney, NSW and was preceded by virtual AGMs in 2021 and 2020; Tamworth, NSW (2019) Canberra, ACT (2018); Alice Springs, NT (2017); Hahndorf, SA (2016); Brisbane, Queensland (2015); Sydney, NSW (2014); Wodonga, Victoria (2013); Fremantle, WA (2012); Longreach, Queensland (2011); Launceston, Tasmania (2010); Darwin, NT (2009); and Orange, NSW (2008).