Report shows Australia is the world leading exporter of lamb

Australia has been labelled the leading exporter of lamb worldwide, in a 2018 State of the Industry report.

Independent chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council, Don Mackay, said the report highlights the key economic and community role the Australian red meat and livestock industry plays for the nation – and the potential for it to make an even bigger contribution.

In 2017,  Australia was the lead exporter of sheepmeat in the world, despite representing only six per cent of the global sheep flock. 

The country was also the third largest exporter of beef in 2017, behind Brazil and India, and the world’s leading exporter of goatmeat in 2016.

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Mackay said beyond exports, red meat continues to be a key part of how Australians live their life with Australians being one of the largest red meat consumers per person in the world.

“Our industry continues to be a major employer, employing 438,100 Australians directly and indirectly, supporting 82,500 businesses and generating $65 billion in turnover.

“Ninety per cent of these jobs are regionally and rurally based and our combined workforce accounts for four per cent of total industry employment in this country,” said MacKay.

“Aussies still love red meat – what we don’t export, we eat. Australians are eating three times as much beef and five times the global average of sheepmeat,” he said. 

State of the Industry 2018 was developed by the Australian red meat and livestock industry’s service provider Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and builds on the inaugural report commissioned by MLA for the red meat industry in 2017.

It benchmarks where Australia sits in terms of red meat consumption, production, imports and exports, as well as the economic significance of the industry in a world where global red meat demand is projected to grow between 1 – 2 per cent.

“The Australian red meat and livestock industry generated more than $13 billon for the nation last year and has the potential to grow its contribution through investment in our people, our land and opening up markets,” said MacKay.

“Australian red meat is currently exported and enjoyed in more than 100 countries around the world. As an industry, we will ensure we continue develop and prosper for the benefit of all Australians,” he said.