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Support for brand owners amidst COVID-19 disruption

01 May 2020

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has introduced short-term additional financial support measures via the CoMarketing program to support brand owners during the difficult trading environment created by COVID-19.

Under the new arrangements:

  • Participants will receive 75% co-contribution for investment in COVID-19 eligible activities implemented by 31 July 2020;
  • The additional funding aims to support demand of high value cuts and allows for new eligible items;
  • The funding can be used to develop direct to consumer sales promotions, develop online sales platforms, boost messaging via social media channels and boost key messaging around nutrition and home cooking tips for red meat;
  • The CoMarketing requirement for brands in the domestic market to be MSA will not be required for this COVID response program.

MLA Managing Director Jason Strong said COVID-19 has significantly disrupted supply routes to markets and demand for Australian red meat from both domestic and international customers.

“COVID-19 has created an exceptionally difficult trading environment, and this additional funding is designed to support brand owners in the short-term,” Mr Strong said.

“This program aims to provide additional marketing support to those brand owners who are looking to promote their product, particularly high value cuts destined for food service outlets during this time.”

Despite Australian beef and lamb generally being in high demand, there is currently an imbalance in the cuts that are in demand, which reduces the overall value of the carcase, and hence livestock price paid to producers.

As the higher value cuts are mainly consumed through the foodservice sector, and Australia exports almost 75 per cent of what we produce, there is a large oversupply in Australia of these higher value cuts which need to be sold to support overall carcase and livestock prices.

“Activities that are supported could include promotions to encourage Australian product on menu as outlets start to re-open and/or activities to re-direct cuts into retail outlets, or online sales to encourage purchase of Australian product for consumption in home,” Mr Strong said.

“In short, the marketing activities supported will be aimed at pulling product through the supply chain during a period of immense disruption.

“During this difficult trading period, it is important that Australian brand attributes are top of mind with customers and consumers and also important that brand owners can implement new activities to capture the immediate shift to in-home consumption.”

The Collaborative Marketing (CoMarketing) Program is an MLA initiative to collaborate with Australian red meat brand owners in the marketing of their brands globally. It supports brand owners in the promotion of product features, attributes and benefits.  Together with other MLA marketing programs, these brand and business development activities enhance customer and consumer perceptions of Australian red meat and help to improve preference and loyalty.

All applications for funding will be managed via MLA’s CoMarketing portal.