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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 standard research agreements 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. Under this agreement any IP created will be owned according to the ownership interests set out in the agreement schedule. If the funds for a research project are being provided by MLA’s Donor Company and matched by the Commonwealth then the MDC research agreement should be used rather than the MLA research agreement. Lastly, 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 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).

In mid-2020, MLA substantially revised its standard Research Agreement. This revised Agreement:

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

View a copy of our agreement: MLA Research Agreement

MLA Donor Company funding and work agreement

Research is also funded by 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.

The MDC Research and Funding Agreement used for MDC funded projects has recently been substantially revised so that it aligns much more with MLA’s recently revised standard Research Agreement.

The main difference between the two research agreements is the funding model. MLA manages the funding and project compliance much like the standard Research Agreement. The funds provided by MDC, project participants and the matched funds provided by the Commonwealth are pooled with MLA at the start of the project and then applied against milestones to the research providers 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.

Some projects also involve funding from Australian Meat Processor Corporation Limited (AMPC). Those projects are controlled by the same Research and Funding Agreement, with the main difference being that AMPC funds are added to the pool.

View a copy of our agreement: MDC funding and work 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 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 agreement: MLA Umbrella Consultancy Agreement


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