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Industry 2030 vision foundation for MLA Strategic Plan 2025

21 February 2020

Every five years, MLA develops a Strategic Plan that sets out its strategic direction and investment priorities that will contribute to the profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness of the red meat and livestock industry.

MLA is currently developing its next Plan, which will cover the five-year period from July 2020 to June 2025. Taking the red meat industry’s 10-year strategic plan, Red Meat 2030 (refer to ‘More information below’) as its foundation, MLA’s strategic planning process has built upon this with input from a number of sources, including:

  • the Australian Government’s Rural Research, Development and Extension Priorities
  • the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities
  • MLA market and industry trend data
  • stakeholder consultation
  • other reports and data that provide insight on the current and future operating environment, including the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment commissioned Agricultural Innovation—A national approach to grow Australia’s future

In developing this new Strategic Plan, it’s important to reflect on the big gains the Australian red meat and livestock industry has made over the last few decades.

Some of the high-impact initiatives considered as having played a major role in ensuring the profitability of our industry include:

  • The development of Australia’s system of on-farm assurance, animal identification and traceability from paddock-to-plate.

    It has protected the disease-free status of Australian red meat and underpinned the marketing of our product as clean, safe and natural. Thanks to the development and continuous improvement of our systems, we have been able to guarantee the integrity of our now $28.5 billion red meat industry to our customers.

  • Being able to provide consumers with confidence that the red meat that they purchase will meet their expectations, every time, through a national beef and sheepmeat eating quality program. Meat Standards Australia (MSA) was created in response to consumer research looking into declining beef and sheepmeat consumption during the 1990s.

    It has provided producers with the information and tools to understand the trends and drivers of eating quality, enabling them to implement improvement strategies and create opportunities for improved returns. Now, MSA is the world’s leading eating quality grading program for beef, and in 2017–19, 94% of carcases met the MSA minimum requirements.

  • Given we export 60% of our production, access to international markets has been critical to the growth and competitiveness of our industry. Efforts to defend and maintain existing access to markets, position Australia favourably in trade negotiations and proactively identify and develop new business opportunities have resulted in significant gains and ensured we can get the best value for our red meat products.

However, our industry is facing some new and different opportunities and challenges. Changing production climates and the evolving needs and expectations of our customers, consumers and the community require industry to respond differently.

In developing its next Strategic Plan, MLA has considered how it can contribute to industry achieving its vision – this being to double the value of  red meat sales by 2030 as the trusted source of the highest quality protein - and how best to address these new challenges and opportunities.

As announced at last year’s Annual General Meeting, ‘fewer, bigger, bolder’ will become a key guiding principle for MLA’s investment decisions.

This will mean working collaboratively with industry to focus on understanding and connecting data and insights across the supply chain to identify opportunities and challenges. We believe that this will enable us to collectively address the big, complex problems impacting our industry. In addressing these problems, we also need to understand how to turn them into opportunities that generate revenue as well as develop new, high value products that allow us to maximise every aspect of the carcase.

Have your say

Over the next few weeks MLA will share what we believe will be these focus areas of work within our next Strategic Plan and will be seeking your thoughts on these. To start the conversation, we’d like to know:

Over the past five years, which industry initiatives have delivered the greatest impact for you and why?

Please email your response to