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Global wrap with Andrew Cox

09 April 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of Meat & Livestock Australia’s Global Markets Update.

When I moved to Singapore and took on the role of General Manager International Markets in January, I committed to visiting every one of the 15 locations where MLA has staff (either full time or contractors) by the end of June. That was unfortunately impossible by the end of February due to the global spread of COVID-19, and at the time of writing all our offices except China are temporarily closed with staff working remotely.

Despite the global disruptions caused by COVID-19, we are committed to delivering marketing communications via digital platforms.  Of course, a significant portion of our international marketing program has needed to pause, with this expenditure deferred to the 2021 financial year. This includes any postponed trade shows and activations around the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

MLA is also focussed on reporting about the impact of COVID-19 on international markets, including how global slowdown is a risk for red meat, its impact on Australian red meat exports, and the imbalance in demand for different cuts. Once the COVID-19 crisis begins to clear, MLA will immediately look to activate marketing programs with partners to get demand moving and continue looking for opportunities to position Australian red meat for future success in various markets.

Our industry has set an ambitious goal to double the value of Australian red meat sales by 2030. Global markets and our partners within these markets are critical to achieving this, especially as we enter a period of shorter supply and increased competition. The real challenge in the next phase will be to ensure full potential value is being collected by our industry. We must maintain a close understanding of consumer and customer trends, differentiate on premium drivers, and ensure resources are invested in high value food solutions that find commercial success.

Last week marked 50 years since the first chilled beef shipment left Australia’s shores destined for Japan, a timely reminder that nothing ever stands still.

Recently we received some consumer research data from China providing cautious optimism - confirming that consumers in a crisis gravitate towards brands they trust. Australian Beef and Lamb has gained that trust over decades of combined industry efforts, and it puts us in great stead for whatever comes next.

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I welcome your feedback and suggestions for future articles, feel free to contact me.

Andrew Cox
MLA General Manager, International Markets