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MLA’s five-year focus on impact and transformational change

17 June 2020

Delivering transformational change for Australia’s red meat and livestock industry is the key theme throughout Meat & Livestock Australia’s Strategic Plan 2025, released today by the red meat marketing and research body.

It charts the direction of Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) investments for the next five years and was developed following significant consultation using a design-led approach with representatives from across the red meat supply chain.

Strategic Plan - Featured.jpgWith a focus on delivering ‘fewer, bigger and bolder’ programs of work, the plan shows where MLA will focus its efforts to ensure red meat producers will see a positive return on their levy investment.

Building on strong industry fundamentals, the plan focuses on helping producers (and their supply chains) make better decisions informed by data, driving efficiencies in the delivery of MLA’s core services, and identifying new ways to capture value and increase profitability through new revenue streams and developing high value products.

MLA Managing Director, Jason Strong, said that while MLA’s strategy capitalises on the many existing opportunities for Australian red meat, it also looks to tackle new challenges in a constantly evolving operating environment.

“Australia’s red meat and livestock industry is in good shape as we embark on this next critical future phase for our industry,” Mr Strong said.  

“Our products have a reputation for being the best in world. We are trusted by consumers – who are more interested than ever about how their food is produced – because of the positive way we treat and trace our livestock.”

As a key focus to successfully deliver the strategy, MLA will increase investment in:

  1. Adoption and extension
    MLA’s strategy sees a significant increase in the funds allocated to adoption and extension activities. MLA programs will have clear adoption and extension pathways helping to ensure that red meat producers can successfully implement practical R&D solutions for their farm businesses.
  2. Programs that support red meat industry integrity systems
    MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025 highlights the importance of strengthening existing systems in support of biosecurity, food safety and traceability. It also highlights the importance of activities that accelerate data capture, end‑to‑end supply chain verification and knowledge transfer within the supply chain to support business decision making.

The plan also sees a focus on ensuring MLA investments contribute to a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable Australian red meat industry. MLA will increasingly focus on programs of work that help producers be more productive while adapting to climate variability, delivering world-leading animal health and welfare outcomes and adopting Carbon Neutral 2030 (CN30) pathways, demonstrated through on‑farm practice change to deliver a global competitive advantage.

“From a global marketing perspective, Australia’s red meat industry has a fantastic story to share,” Mr Strong said.

MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025 is clear in its ambition as we continue to drive demand for red meat, with activities informed by data, evidence and insights.

“For MLA’s research and development work, we will continue to push our industry forward by building on-farm productivity through improved adoption of research outcomes. We must build more sophisticated and efficient supply chains, with a shared commitment from all of industry.

“This Strategic Plan highlights MLA’s contribution to the red meat industry’s long-term vision to double the value of red meat sales by 2030 and for Australia to be the trusted source of the highest quality protein, as laid out in Red Meat 2030. It will also play an important role in taking Australian agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030.

“Our ambition was to build a plan that ensures MLA can capitalise on those areas where we already have a competitive advantage but also asking some tough questions about what we can do better for producers and how we can turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities.”

The development of MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025 started by first identifying key high‑impact initiatives that have already played a major role in transforming industry and using them as the foundation for which to build the plan.

“The establishment of Australia’s on‑farm assurance, animal identification and traceability systems are a good example,” Mr Strong said.

“Thanks to the development and continuous improvement of these systems, we have been able to guarantee the integrity of our $28.5 billion red meat industry to our customers. As part of our strategic planning we were able to be creative in thinking how we can further build and enhance these programs to build a more prosperous industry.

“Another example is Meat Standards Australia (MSA), the world’s leading eating quality grading program for beef, and the work to support access to international markets, which has been critical to the growth and competitiveness of our industry.

“What these examples show us is to have real impact, we need to be focused, ambitious with our expectations and demand greater impact from the investments we make. However, success will ultimately be measured by the ability of red meat producers to create and capture additional value from these investments.

“For MLA, we will continue to target major strategic challenges to ensure that higher risk but higher reward investments are not being overlooked.

“To be successful, it was important that this strategy focused not just on what we will do, but how we will do it. We developed guiding principles that will ensure MLA is well placed to deliver transformational change and maximise our impact.”

MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025 will undergo a constant cycle of review and inform MLA’s Annual Investment Plans (AIPs), which outline MLA’s programs and the activities, key performance indicators and budgets for each financial year.

Click here to view MLA’s Strategic Plan 2025.