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LEP RD&E Blueprint Development 2020-25

Did you know MLA and LiveCorp have created a blueprint to guide research and development for the livestock export industry?

Project start date: 30 August 2019
Project end date: 22 January 2020
Publication date: 15 July 2020
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
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The Livestock Export Program (LEP) is a joint initiative between MLA and LiveCorp that invests in research, development and extension (RD&E) activities to enhance the productivity, sustainability and competiveness of the red meat export industry.

Investments made by the LEP RD&E Program are guided by the RD&E Blueprint. The Blueprint is developed after extensive consultation with farmers and livestock exporters to provide visibility and clarity on the industry's priorities for funding.

The blueprint sets out a series of goals that align with the LiveCorp Strategic Plan and MLA Strategic Plan and determine how the RD&E Program will make investment decisions and how project ideas may be proposed. The Blueprint will be reviewed annually to ensure that its priorities are relevant and that it incorporates new developments in the livestock export process.


The main objective for this project was to develop the LEP RD&E 2020-2025 Blueprint by:

  • engaging with stakeholders to develop RD&E priorities and draft the Blueprint for the medium to long term
  • testing and collecting feedback from stakeholders on the draft
    communicating the outcomes to stakeholders

Key findings

The Blueprint provides clear guidance on the type of projects that the RD&E Program should be funding by developing a clear pathway that ensures the industry RD&E priorities are being properly identified are researched.

This Blueprint pathway for projects includes:

  • review by the Livestock Export Research and Development Advisory Committee (LERDAC)
  • ongoing assistance from a Management Committee
  • a list of priorities to generate projects from
  • a detailed decision making process that is support by LERDAC and the Management Committee.

The Blueprint has outlined five main goals for the LEP RD&E Program that encompass the priorities of the Australian live export industry:

  1. Greater transparency of animal health and welfare in the supply chain
  2. Understanding and addressing animal health and welfare risks in the supply chain
  3. Improving the uptake, adoption and commercialisation of better animal health and welfare practices and tools
  4. Improving supply chain efficiency and regulatory performance
  5. Supporting better market access conditions for Australian producers and exporters.

Benefits to industry

By identifying, documenting and delivering against a clear set of RD&E priorities that have been developed and identified by input from numerous stakeholders, the LEP RD&E Blueprint will achieve greater efficiency in the identification, prioritisation and evaluation of RD&E opportunities. This will create research that is more targeted with a higher return on investment and a more valuable use of producer and exporters levies. In the longer term, the Blueprint will help deliver productive rather than protective research.

MLA action

In collaboration with LiveCorp, MLA will review the Blueprint with the live export research and development advisory committee annually, to ensure that its priorities are relevant and that it incorporates new developments in the livestock export process.

Future research

The LEP RD&E Program must maintain an ongoing, fit-for-purpose regime of assessment using the following approaches:

  • evaluating individual project outcomes with peak industry councils, independent animal welfare experts, individual organisations and other researchers
  • reviewing project outcomes against the strategic objectives of the RD&E program, budget, milestones and terms of reference
  • evaluating whether the RD&E Program can meet its overall investment targets
  • Evaluating outcomes for each of the stakeholder groups individually to get a sense of the overall impact created by the RD&E Program
  • ongoing review of the RD&E Program should include periodically refreshing the contents of the Blueprint and research priorities by re-engaging with industry stakeholders.

Related resources


More information

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Primary researcher: Noetic Solutions Pty Ltd