AMIC hosted dinners and held discussions in the last week of June in Canberra on a range of issues impacting the red meat sector on both sides of politics including the subjects of agricultural visas, labour shortages, infrastructure reform, energy prices, market access and a recognition of the importance of the meat processing and export sector and the meat retail sector to the Australian rural economy.
“Investing in processing and independent retail butchers is investing in farmers” was a message taken to the both sides of Parliament and to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack. AMIC Chairman Lachie Hart welcomed Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to the AMIC National Processor Group meeting held in Canberra and there was great appreciation for the open and transparent dialogue that ensued.
Some quotes worth noting from the two days of deliberations and meetings:
Minister Littleproud – “If we don’t have processing and the retail meat industry in our rural and regional towns, we don’t have those rural and regional towns.”
Assistant Minister for Trade, Mark Coulton – “It’s our job to ensure that your products flow and we need to get the Non Tariff Trade issues right.”
Minister for Small Business and Deregulation, Craig Laundy – “Your industry gets it, more employees equals more capacity equals more product equals more opportunities.” That’s red meat processing in Australia.
Minister for Regional Development, John McVeigh – “State and Federal Governments need to remember that our biggest industry is our red meat manufacturing.”