Trade expert appointed to key US market role

31 October 2016

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has appointed experienced trade and market counsel Rob Williams as its next International Business Manager for North America.

MLA Managing Director Richard Norton said Mr Williams’ experience in a suite of senior trade and market access roles made him the right man for the job at a critical time in the life of Australia’s largest export market.

Mr Williams will take over the role from David Pietsch following a comprehensive handover and the conclusion of his four-year term in MLA’s Washington DC office in December.

“After a careful assessment of our industry’s needs in the US market right now and a rigorous skills-based selection process, I’m confident that Rob Williams has the insight and the ability for this important role,” Mr Norton said.

“Mr Williams will play a key part with MLA in addressing a range of issues in the US market including the continued enhancement of Australia’s position, the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Brazil’s entry to the market and the development of a new Farm Bill in 2018.”

Mr Williams comes to the role with impeccable credentials, having served as Agriculture Counsellor in Australia’s Beijing and Washington DC embassies and then as Trade Director of Technical Market Access at the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC).

Most recently he was Technical Counsel in the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) where he advised AMIC and individual meat processors on market access issues.

Mr Williams is a qualified veterinarian and first worked in private practice before joining the federal Department of Agriculture and serving in management roles in biosecurity, export facilitation, animal health and emergency disease preparedness.

Mr Norton said MLA had planned an extensive handover for the role and outgoing International Business Manager David Pietsch would also assist MLA with a number of key events in early 2017.

“There will be further opportunity to thank David Pietsch when he returns to Australia, but I want to take this opportunity to put on record MLA’s appreciation – and that of our industry – for his excellent service,” Mr Norton said.

“These are high profile jobs at the coal face of our industry’s most important markets and people like David who serve in them carry the weight of that responsibility. I thank David and his family for their contribution to the success of Australian red meat in North America.”

MLA maintains a network of international offices in Australia’s major established and developing markets which monitor in-market consumer and business trends and work with industry to market and promote Australian red meat and livestock. International Business Manager roles are term limited, publicly advertised and skills-based appointments.

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