Subscribe to MLA's e-newsletters

Stay informed with the latest red meat and livestock industry news, events, research and marketing.

Sign up
Back to About MLA

MLA agreements

Meat & Livestock Australia Limited (ABN 39 081 678 364) (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 1997 (Cth) and provides services to the Australian red meat industry. MLA includes Meat and Livestock Australia Limited (ABN 39 081 678 364) and its Related Bodies Corporate Industry Systems Company Limited (ABN 34 134 745 038) and MLA Donor Company Limited (ABN 49 083 304 867).

Under MLA’s Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA), MLA must ensure that it spends funds in an open and transparent manner, consistent with its Strategic Plan and other regulatory requirements. To assist with meeting its obligations under its SFA, MLA uses a standard research agreement for research and development projects and a consultancy agreement for research and marketing type services. These agreements set out the terms on which MLA will engage with parties when conducting a research or marketing projects and have recently been updated based on feedback from the industry. The agreements are designed to be balanced and fair and the terms are not for negotiation so that parties can focus on the commercial details rather than the legal terms.

MLA’s research agreement should be used when a research project is being conducted that MLA is funding, or where funds are being provided by MLA’s Donor Company and matched by the Commonwealth. Under this agreement any IP created will be owned according to the ownership interests set out in the agreement schedule. The consultancy agreement should be used if a party is providing services to MLA to achieve its objectives. Under this agreement MLA will own any IP created.

MLA umbrella research agreement

MLA and its related body corporate Industry Systems Company Limited (ABN 34 134 745 038) (MLA) undertake a range of research and development and marketing programs designed to benefit beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat industry participants, from livestock producers to retail service providers. MLA also provides a number of research and development and marketing services to related industry sectors including meat processors and live animal exporters.

MLA is primarily funded by transaction levies paid on livestock sales by producers, which it uses to support research and development activities. The Australian Government also contributes a dollar for each levy dollar MLA invests in eligible research and development under a Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA).

Research is also funded by the MLA Donor Company (MDC), which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited.

MDC is an investment vehicle which accelerates innovation across the value chain so the Australian red meat and livestock industry can remain competitive on the world stage. It does this by attracting commercial investment from individual enterprises and others that share a mutual interest to co-invest in innovation that will benefit the industry.

In mid-2020, MLA substantially revised its standard research agreements. The revised agreements:

  • set out that in return for funding, the research party agrees to carry out the project in the way they proposed and only use the funds for the project
  • require that the research party comply with certain standards and compliance matters
  • provide MLA with sufficient oversight to ensure that the funds are being used as expected, including reports and records and audit requirements.

In mid-2021, following further consultation, MLA combined its previously separate research agreement and MDC funding and work agreement into a single umbrella research agreement. Once signed the terms live on indefinitely (unless terminated earlier) and a statement of work is prepared for each engagement.  

Where a project is funded by MDC, MLA manages the funding and project compliance much like in an MLA-funded project. The funds provided by MDC, project participants, the matched funds provided by the Commonwealth, and any funds provided by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation Limited) (if applicable), are pooled with MLA at the start of the project and then applied against milestones to the Participant during the course of the project. MLA’s role in managing the project is compensated through deducting a project management fee called a Project Access Fee.

The MLA Umbrella Research Agreement includes terms relevant to both funding arrangements.  Different parts of the Agreement will apply depending on the arrangement for a particular research project.   

View a copy of our umbrella research agreement: MLA Umbrella Research Agreement

MLA Umbrella Consultancy Agreement

In November 2020, MLA’s standard Consultancy Agreement was substantially revised so that it aligns much more with MLA’s standard Research Agreement and the Funding and Work Agreement used for MDC funded projects. MLA now has one Umbrella Consultancy agreement that covers specific engagements and more general consultancy engagements. Once signed the terms live on indefinitely (unless terminated earlier) and a statement of work is prepared for each engagement. The Umbrella Consultancy Agreement now includes provisions to allow Meat & Livestock Australia Limited to enter into statements of work for services on behalf of its subsidiaries. Multiple template agreements have also been consolidated into one so that the Umbrella Consultancy Agreement now covers multiple types of engagements such as:

  • general obligations of a consultant (applies to all consultants);
  • IT services (applies only to those consultants providing IT services);
  • market research services (applies only to those consultants providing market research services); and
  • photography, videography and writing services (applies only when these services are provided).

In addition, the agreement now contains more comprehensive terms relating to privacy, data security and intellectual property. The agreement also now covers instances where students are involved in providing services to MLA. Lastly, the agreement also now includes a “go/no go” framework which allows MLA to suspend or terminate the services if a “no go” decision is made.

View a copy of our umbrella consultancy agreement: MLA Umbrella Consultancy Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here is a list of FAQ on our Agreements.


For information on the MLA Group’s invoicing requirements, please refer the following document: Invoicing with MLA Group

FY21 Agreements

Included is a list of all third parties that MLA entered into research and development and marketing agreements with in FY21:
FY21 Agreements