Former RMAC leader appointed new CEO of Herefords Australia

Sheep Central June 26, 2024

Mr James has worked for RMAC since November 2021 after holding senior roles with the industry representative bodies, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council and CropLife Australia, and the former Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

This followed a career as an agronomist and farmer. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science – Agriculture and is a Graduate member of the Australian institute of Company Directors.

Herefords Australia Chairman Marc Greening welcomed the appointment, saying securing such a high calibre executive from within the red meat supply chain was a coup for the organisation in taking the breed forward.

“Herefords Australia has a young, vibrant and progressive Board that Alastair will complement perfectly,” Mr Greening said.

“We are tremendously proud of the fact the organisation can attract people of this calibre and his experience in the red meat industry through his role at RMAC will put us in good stead to have a CEO that not only understands how a member-based organisation and a business should be run but also have the extensive knowledge and contacts through the red meat industry.

“Alastair will complement all the hard work achieved by the previous two CEOs to really drive the breed forward with a focus on sustainability and positioning Herefords in a changing modern market. This is our Angus moment of the 1980s.”

Mr Greening said Alastair’s key role in progressing major outcomes in RMACs strategic plan and delivery of assets would prove valuable in HAL continuing to secure the long-term future of the Hereford breed under the five-year strategic plan.

With a family background in stud and commercial cattle breeding, Mr James will be based in Canberra for his new role and is looking to leverage his whole paddock to plate supply chain experience and industry connections in assisting in delivering on member, industry partners and stakeholder needs from the organisation.

“I am very excited about taking on the role and am looking forward to meeting the team and finding where we can focus to promote the Hereford breed and achieve results for our members,” he said.

Mr James said maintaining a harmonious membership base and collaboration between diverse sectors in the red meat supply chain was an achievement he was most proud of at RMAC and hoped to continue at Herefords Australia.

“Herefords play a critical role in the supply chain, particularly in the commercial sector with the reduced days to slaughter advantage compared to contemporaries, delivering better body condition scores on less feed, and improved fertility – and doing all of that with an edge in sustainability,” he said.

“A focus will be promoting those evidence-based genetic advantages through marketing to increase awareness access and understanding.

“The runs are on the board – extensive carcase data collated by my predecessor Michael Crowley demonstrated that Herefords perform well in a range of production systems using Meat Standards Australia grading. That work promoting the benefits of the breed will be continued.”

Mr James has worked solidly on advancing the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework and supporting the adoption of transparent standards and systems through the red meat supply chain to deliver positive environmental outcomes and resilient businesses.

“I aim to continue that good work in positioning the evidence base behind HAL’s sustainability credentials and being able to promote that. Herefords perform well in a range of production systems with envious days to slaughter performance from less feed making them a more sustainable choice for Australian beef cattle producers.”

Mr James regards Hereford Youth as a rich resource and is a strong believer in educating future decision makers on the vital role of livestock industry plays.

“Ensuring a pathway so youth can broaden their horizons with knowledge, leadership skills and become the leaders we need in the future is important.”

Source: Herefords Australia


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