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The red meat industry

Australia’s red meat and livestock industry makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy.

In 2021–22, Australia’s red meat and livestock industry turnover was $75.4 billion. This is 7.7% higher than revised 2020–21 figures and an increase of 10.7% on 2017–18 figures(1).Industry turnover is defined as income generated by businesses within the industry from the sales of goods and services.

In 2021–22, the Australian red meat and livestock industry employed approximately 433,389 people(1)

Download the State of the Industry Report 2022: The Australian red meat and livestock industry

Australia’s beef industry

  • In 2022, Australia produced approximately 1.9 million tonnes carcase weight (cwt) of beef and veal(5)
  • In 2022, 2.7 million grainfed cattle were marketed (feedlot turnoff), equal to 47% of all adult cattle slaughtered(2)
  • In 2022, Australia exported 67% of its total beef and veal production(3)
  • The value of total beef and veal exports in 2022 was A$10.4 billion(4).

Find out fast facts about the beef cattle industry


Australia’s sheepmeat industry

  • In 2022, Australia produced 534,235 tonnes cwt of lamb and 172,670 tonnes carcase weight (cwt) of mutton(5)
  • Total sheepmeat production (lamb and mutton) was 706,905 tonnes cwt in 2022, 38% below year-ago levels but only 12% below the five-year-average(5)
  • In 2022, Australian lamb exports totalled 284,256 tonnes shipped weight (swt), 7% up year-on-year and 4% above the five-year average(5)
  • Australian mutton exports were 144,004 tonnes swt in 2022, up marginally year-on-year and down 9% on the five-year average(7)
  • The value of Australian sheepmeat (lamb and mutton) exports in 2022 was $4.6 billion, up 14% from the previous year(4).

Find out fast facts about the sheepmeat industry


Australia’s goatmeat industry

  • Goat production in 2022 decreased 7% on the previous year, totalling 14,795 tonnes carcase weight (cwt)(5)
  • Goat slaughter totalled 1,671,611 head in 2022, up 38% year-on-year and 19% above the five-year average(5)
  • Average carcase weights averaged 16.93kg/head in 2022, holding steady year-on-year (5).

Find out fast facts about the goatmeat industry

Sharing red meat’s story

In August 2018, MLA launched a new online platform that provides consumers with an open and trusted source of information about the production of beef, sheep and goat meat in Australia.

Good Meat demonstrates how Australian red meat is produced sustainably, in high welfare systems and is an important part of a healthy balanced diet.

Good Meat is also home to a range of educational resources including study guides, classroom posters, lesson and activity sheets, virtual farm visits, digital lessons and online board games.

Visit Good Meat website


(1) IBIS World, ABARES

(2) MLA/ALFA Feedlot Survey

(3) MLA estimate

(4) IHS Markit

(5) ABS

(6) ABS, DA, IHS Markit

(7) DAWE