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MLA’s 2020 highlights

17 December 2020

As we reflect back on 2020, some of the key highlights and initiatives that MLA has delivered on behalf of Australian red meat producers include:

Strategic Plan 2025

MLA released its new strategic plan in 2020, outlining its approach to achieving the key objectives of doubling the value of Australian red meat sales, and becoming the trusted source of the highest quality protein.

The plan uses Red Meat 2030, the industry’s 10-year strategic plan, as a foundation document to ensure it aligns with the broader industry vision and shared priorities across the supply chain.

MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025

New podcasts deliver information in a fresh format

MLA released two new podcasts in 2020 as a fresh way for the industry to connect and learn more.

MLA’s Feedback podcast features news, stories, information and interviews from across the industry, offering producers innovative ways to address challenges and opportunities they might face.

On the ground podcast provides the latest information on key international markets. Originally created as a response to COVID-19, the podcast has grown to be a key information piece for industry to understand what’s happening around the world.

The Feedback podcast is available here.

On the ground is available here.

New strategic partnerships improving reproduction in cattle and sheep

MLA formed a number of new strategic partnerships in 2020 to improve the productivity and profitability of the red meat industry. Two key reproductive partnerships established through this are the Sheep Reproduction Strategic Partnership (SRSP) and the Northern Breeding Business (NB2).

The SRSP will help producers sustainably and profitably improve lamb production through increasing weaning rates and lamb survival, collaborating with broader industry to develop long-term programs of research, development and adoption.

NB2 has been formed to address calf loss in northern breeding herds, low profitability of many northern beef enterprises and low adoption of proven management practices and technologies, with the goal of delivering $20 million a year in net benefits by 2027 to 250 northern beef enterprises.

For more information on the SRSP, read Sheep Reproduction RD&E Impact Assessment released.

For more information on NB2, visit Northern Breeding Business.

MLA updates building a resilient industry future

In the lead up to MLA’s AGM, a series of webinars titled MLA updates: Redefining resilience were released to examine what resilience in red meat will look like in the years ahead, and how the industry must evolve to meet new challenges.

The webinars provided information designed to help build business profitability and to ensure they remain resilient into the future in the changing global environment.

Recordings of each webinar are available at updates.mla.com.au

Virtual trade seminars promote Australian red met

Throughout November and December, MLA hosted six online virtual trade seminars to deliver insights to global customers into Australian beef and lamb.

In the absence of traditional conferences due to COVID-19, the online seminars offered exporters a platform to connect in an open forum with existing and potential new clients, showcasing their brands and the qualities of Australian red meat.

The seminars were held across six key regions for Australian red meat: The US, MENA, South-East Asia, Japan, Korea and China.

For more on the seminars, see virtual seminars deliver new business opportunities.

Beef and lamb campaigns drive unique engagement with Aussie red meat

MLA ran a number of beef and lamb campaigns throughout 2020, designed to engage consumers with Aussie red meat through a range of strategies including bridging the isolation gap created by COVID-19 through the unique experience of cooking.

‘Australian beef makes the greatest meals on earth’, ‘Lamb Legends’, ‘Share the Secret Recipe’ and ‘Lambalytica’ were the highlight marketing campaigns of the year, and featured across social media, digital, TV and at point of sale.

For more information, visit MLA’s beef campaigns and lamb campaigns pages.

Industry resources now easier to access thanks to new hubs

MLA has improved the accessibility of its resources for producers in 2020, curating relevant content into new, easy-to-access hubs.

The hubs serve as a one-stop shop for best practice advice, tools and information producers need, saving them time finding resources, and supporting them with on-farm decision making.

Hubs for livestock, feedbase, sustainability, climate, seasons and mental health are all available through the MLA resource hubs page.

Students engage with industry through Olympic connection

MLA’s Virtual Classroom program, a valuable resource connecting students with Australian cattle, sheep and goat farmers, added a new module in 2020, ‘Be Your Greatest’, further driving engagement in the industry through connecting students with Australian Olympians and Paralympians.

Be Your Greatest has been designed to give students insights into the journey of Olympians and Paralympians towards their goals, what their connections to agriculture are, and how red meat and healthy eating are important in their dietary considerations.

More information on MLA’s Virtual Classrooms can be found on MLA’s Community programs page.

MasterChef serves up success for Australian Beef

Australian Beef sponsorship of MasterChef in 2020 is a prime example of MLA’s innovative approach to dealing with some of COVID-19’s impacts, namely the decline in foodservice and the rise of home cooking.

The focus of the campaign was on how premium cuts of Australian beef (for which sales dropped as foodservice declined) could deliver restaurant-quality meals at home if prepared correctly.

On the back of a hugely successful series, which reached 12.4 million viewers, traffic to the Australian Beef website almost doubled, and many viewers indicated they felt more favourable about Australian red meat as a result.

Read more about the impact of the sponsorship in Australian Beef feels the MasterChef effect.

New NVD changes improving red meat integrity

The Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration (LPA NVD), which communicates the food safety and treatment status of every animal every time it moves along the value chain, has been streamlined in 2020 for an easier-to-use, more efficient and cost-effective system.

As part of the changes, updated versions of the NVD were made available on 1 July, and the eDEC system will be decommissioned on 31 December 2020, being fully replaced by the new mobile-friendly eNVD.

For more information, see Five things to know about the new NVDs.

MLA reported on other key highlights in its Annual Report 2019-20 which included supporting 102 producers following natural disasters, improving access to genetics data and generating $172 million in additional farm gate returns through Meat Standards Australia. A list of key highlights is available on pages 4–5 in MLA’s Annual Report 2019–20.