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MLA Strategic Plan development: what we heard

01 May 2020

MLA’s next Strategic Plan, covering the period 2020–25, will come into effect from July this year. The plan will set out our strategic direction and investment priorities that will contribute to the profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness of the red meat and livestock industry.

A critical component in the development of this five-year plan has been consultation with industry.

In previous articles, we have provided the opportunity for input on the development of the Plan and the emerging themes, including:

Throughout the process, we have used different models to ensure we capture the voice of our stakeholders, including workshops and discussions with representatives and participants from across the red meat supply chain. These discussions enabled us to gather valuable input and feedback into our strategy.

Last month, the key priorities, issues and outcomes raised during workshops with sheep and cattle supply chains were also made available to producers and levy payers for feedback and comment via our online communication channels.

MLA has collated this material, considered it in relation to our purpose - to foster the long-term prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry, by collaborating with stakeholders to invest in research, development and marketing initiatives that contribute to producer profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness - and incorporated it, along with other inputs, into the draft Strategic Plan 2020–2025.

During April, MLA provided the peak industry councils and the other red meat Research and Development Corporations with further opportunity to provide feedback on the draft structure of the Plan.

Key themes emerging from this consultation built on much of the commentary we have already heard through the development process.

  • Acknowledgement that the industry operates in a dynamic and complex environment. There was an understanding that there is a balance between managing short-term issues and planning around long-term strategic priorities, particularly within the context of achieving the industry’s Red Meat 2030 Vision and in developing the MLA five-year Strategic Plan.
  • For both the industry’s Red Meat 2030 plan and MLA’s Plan to be successful, we need to break down silos, working together through a whole-of-supply-chain approach to address the new and different opportunities and challenges we will face. It is important to know where meaningful collaboration occurs and where each of the organisations connect with MLA.
  • Culture, notably one that supports change, is as important as proposed initiatives. The importance of advocates within industry demonstrating the need and value of practice change was highlighted.
  • Our stakeholders want us to be bold in our thinking and in our Strategic Plan, making deliberate choices that will result in impact for our producers and, ultimately, a sustainable red meat industry. However, it was also recognised that being bold is not easy. It is important to understand that impact is not just measured economically, and that social and environmental impact are crucial for sustainability.
  • In navigating these complexities, however, it is important to stay focused with a Plan that has clear direction, clear measures of success and is simple to understand.

For MLA, the development of our Strategic Plan 2020–2025 began with the industry’s Red Meat 2030 plan. An important part of the process has been sharing information with and listening to our stakeholders over the last eight months.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed their voice.

MLA's Strategic Plan 2025.