Australia is the leading supplier of red meat to the world and Australians are among the highest red meat consumers according to a new report.
The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) has released State of the Industry 2017, the first-ever snapshot of the value of red meat industry to the Australian economy and community.
In 2016 Australia was the largest exporter of beef and the second largest exporter of sheepmeat; and the world’s third largest livestock exporter.
Not only does Australia lead the world in selling meat, Australians are some of the highest consumers of red meat in the world, eating four times the average amount of beef and six times the amount of sheep meat compared to the global average.
RMAC Independent Chair, Don Mackay, said the State of the Industry 2017 demonstrates for the first time the key part red meat plays in the Australian economic success story, from our plates, to our jobs and our businesses.
“No industry has a more important place in society than an industry that feeds its people and sustains and improves their way of life,” he said.
“We have achieved turnover growth of 11 percent, contributed $18 billion to Australian GDP, sustain 405,000 direct and indirect jobs and feed 24 million Australians day in and day out.
“Our industry continues to work for our rural and regional jobs, accounting for almost a quarter of agrifood jobs in Australia.”
The report shows the value of Australian red meat and livestock exports increased by almost $6b over the past five years from $9.2b in 2011-12 to $15.1b in 2015-16.
It also showed that a once niche industry in goat meat has experienced a significant boom with Australia now a leading supplier of global goat meat, enjoying a recent price increase of 177 per cent and exporting over 27, 000 tonnes of goat in 2016 alone.
Mackay said the State of the Nation 2017 demonstrated the need for government to show leadership in food and farming policy.
“Our industry’s success is Australia’s success. As an industry, we are responsible for far too many Australian businesses and Australian jobs for government to be cavalier about our industry,” he said.