A new sheep business centre will be the centrepiece of a $10 million investment in Western Australia’s sheep industry announced yesterday by WA’s Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston yesterday. The investment in WA’s Sheep Industry Business Innovation project is aimed at developing access to new markets. The proposed business centre at the Katanning Research Facility will be a hub for information, research, training and innovation in the sheep industry, linking with other state providers. “It will play an important role in providing the science, skills and strategies to help the sheep industry improve capacity and supply chains to satisfy customer requirements for lamb, mutton and wool,” Mr Baston said.
WA sheep meat exports rising
Over five years to 2013-14, sheep meat exports from Australia to China rose from $57m to $446m. WA sheep meat exports rose by 31 percent in 2013-14 to 70,000 tonnes, worth $324 million. In dollar terms, 39pc was destined for the Middle East and 15pc to China. WA exported 1.8 million live sheep in 2013-14, worth $160m, accounting for 88pc of Australia’s total live sheep exports. In 2013-14, 56,000 tonnes of wool, worth $425m, was exported from WA, with 83pc sent to China for processing en route to apparel markets, including the US and Europe.
Sheep project to target Asian and Middle Eastern markets
WA’s Sheep Industry Business Innovation project aims to build industry growth and cultivate new markets for sheep meat and live exports in Asia and the Middle East. It will include sheep meat product development, supporting test consignments, boosting industry business skills and development of a web portal to provide key industry information. The project is part of the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative, a whole-of-government approach with several agencies supporting the delivery of a range of programs. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the $10 million Royalties for Regions allocation allowed the industry to capitalise on rising global demand and strengthen regional communities. “This will help broaden our State’s regional economy to create new and expanded industry sectors,” Mr Redman said. Source: Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia