AUSTRALIA’S live export industry could not afford to be complacent, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chief executive officer Simon Westaway said last week.
At the industry’s annual national conference, LIVEXforum, in Canberra last week, Mr Westaway said the livestock export industry was well-placed to meet the wide range of economic, social and political issues facing the sector, now and in the longer-term future.
“There’s absolutely no room for complacency in the live trade.
“Exporters know they need to be on the front foot in terms of retaining existing supply chains and developing new markets,” Mr Westaway said.
“LIVEXforum has left us with little doubt that the challenges around market access, regulation, profitability and supply chain integrity are dynamic and ongoing.
“But whatever challenges we face, Australia continues to play the leading role in the global livestock export trade. We back ourselves in the provision of a product and service which is without peer across any of the other 100-plus livestock exporting countries around the world.”
Special guests at the conference included Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker and Opposition agriculture spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon. Leading animal welfare researchers Professor David Mellor and Dr Teresa Collins and RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil, also participated.
The conference concluded with a gala dinner that raised $43,500 for Royal Far West and Lily Mackett.
This year ALEC and LiveCorp elected to support rural charity Royal Far West and 17-year-old Lily Mackett, who sustained severe injuries when she was struck by a car in Dubai earlier this year.
Lily’s father Joff is Meat & Livestock Australia’s Livestock Services Manager for the Middle East and North Africa and is a highly respected member of the livestock export industry.
LiveCorp CEO Sam Brown said that as a result of the accident, Lily requires a full-time carer, interim nursing, ongoing therapy and expensive mobility equipment.
“The tight-knit exporter community is renowned for uniting to help worthy causes and this year is no exception,” he said.
“The funds we’ve raised will enable the Mackett family to offset some of the considerable ongoing costs incurred from Lily’s injuries.
Royal Far West’s commitment to the provision of health and education services to children in rural and remote areas provides much-needed support to isolated families, including those involved in our industry as livestock producers.”