Global wrap – September

25 September 2017

MLA continues to be focussed on delivering strong outcomes for Australian red meat producers and industry by improving access to global markets and building demand for Australian red meat products.

MLA has offices in eight of our key trading regions, with staff based on the ground in-market delivering on MLA’s Global Markets Strategy.

A key element of their work continues to be providing year round and targeted promotion of Australian red meat products to key segments in each market. Each office delivers a number of campaigns throughout the year, featuring different activities that are focussed on engaging with consumers, foodservice customers or the retail sector. 

Some recent activities include:

Taiwan

Despite facing the strong competition from US beef, MLA has successfully partnered with Carrefour, the leading hypermarket chain in Taiwan, to become the ambassador of Aussie beef. The chillers in its new outlets showcase beef only from Australia, ranging from grassfed, grainfed to Wagyu beef, sold as primal cut package, skin-pack retail ready package and cut-to-order, providing consumers a great opportunity to experience a variety of quality Aussie products.

Japan

Continuing the highly successful “Let’s Barbie” campaigns of 2015 and 2016, this year saw the use of pop up stores as the centrepiece of the campaign. The first pop up store was located in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando district, consumers were able to watch live demonstrations on how to cook Aussie steak, amongst other activities. This was followed by a "Let's Barbie" pop-up event in Osaka in August, to encourage Japanese to experience Aussie style of barbecuing in summer.

US

A new partnership with Big Green Egg smokers (the cool kids in US barbecue) and MLA’s food influencer program, which includes food bloggers, to Make the Outdoors Greater this summer with True Aussie Beef & Lamb. MLA aimed to share 30 new recipes, earn 1 million impressions and have strong engagement metrics on social media and give a big boost to MLA’s online where to buy tool.

These activities remain a vital component in the continued promotion of red meat in our key export markets.

MLA’s new Middle East & North Africa team

One of the key offices is MLA’s Middle East & North Africa regional office based in Dubai. We have some new faces in the region, as former International Business Manager for the region David Beatty finished up in mid July after five years of hard work.

Nick Meara has taken the reigns in the IBM role. Nick has spent the past 18 months as the Business Development Manager for MLA. The Middle East market is a challenging and dynamic region and Nick has been able to utilise his experience in the region to support key trade accounts and retailers improve their understanding of Australian red meat.

Nick will soon be joined by Sam Gill, who has been appointed to the role of Business Development Manager – Trade & Retail for the region. Sam has held a number of different roles within MLA, from managing the sheep and beef genetics programs to his most recent role as Program Manager – Digital Strategy & Business Development with the Integrity Systems Company. Sam’s new role he will develop and deliver trade and retail programs as well as implementing brand building strategies.

Finally, Spencer Whitaker has joined the team as the new Access and Trade Project Manager based in Dubai. In this role Spencer will be supporting the development, implementation and management of market access programs across the MENA region. Spencer has significant knowledge in animal live export having worked at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in their Live Animal Exports Branch.

Market access

We have seen recently some high profile issues around access to some key markets, with China recently suspending some Australian processing facilities and similar action out of Malaysia. I spoke with ABC Rural recently about Australia’s continued strong reputation in international markets, especially around integrity and traceability issues. Working to ensure strong market access globally is a continuing process, with industry and individual businesses working closely with Government to ensure we are maintaining strong access for Australian red meat products. You can listen to the interview here.

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