THREE directors, including two new ones and another returning, were elected to the board of Meat & Livestock Australia during the producer-owned industry service delivery company’s annual general meeting yesterday.
The AGM was a hybrid gathering — in person in Sydney and virtually — under a move designed to broaden the accessibility of the meeting among MLA’s membership.
Joining the board for the first time are former Australian Lot Feeders Association president Tess Herbert, receiving 97.76pc votes in favour, and Jack Holden, receiving 92.42pc votes in favour.
Ms Herbert runs a farming and lotfeeding business in central west NSW.
Mr Holden is a sustainability practitioner with twenty-five years’ experience in agriculture and natural systems and is General Manager – Sustainability for the Asia Pacific Region of Fonterra Group.
Re-elected to the MLA board for another term was John Lloyd, receiving 95.85pc votes in favour. Mr Lloyd has been on the board since 2019 and has a deep understanding of the red meat industry and the RDC sector. He is a former CEO of Horticulture Innovation Australia.
The MLA Board is a skills-based Board. Directors and have complementary skills to make important decisions for the long-term benefit of the red meat and livestock industry.
MLA chair Alan Beckett provided the AGM with an overview of the industry over the last 12 months – a period with numerous challenges but also exceptional positivity.
“Our thoughts are with all producers who are affected by the devastating floods across the country.
“Cattle, sheep and goat producers are strong-willed and versatile, and we would like to thank their hard work over the next 12 months, they truly inspire the work we do at MLA,” Mr Beckett said.
MLA managing director Jason Strong said Australia’s red meat industry had experienced generally good conditions in 2022 and the outlook remained very positive.
“Seasonal conditions have vastly improved from recent years, and the flooding and record rainfall has created significant challenges for many producers,” he said. “But overall, the conditions are vastly improved from recent years of drought and the herd and flock is rebuilding.
“Prices have been strong and there is a burgeoning demand for Australian red meat from around the world. Our industry has an incredible reputation for delivering on eating quality, traceability, sustainability, food safety and taste.”
Mr Strong said the industry was also on the front with biosecurity, which had been a major issue in the spotlight in 2022.
“Exotic disease incursions have always been a concern for our industry, but their proximity in Indonesia highlighted the risk this year,” Mr Strong said. “MLA has been proactive in working with industry to communicate the issues with industry and the public.
“We are also working on a range of practical steps to ensure Australia is prepared and that we can assist Indonesia with the outbreak. The Australian Government has also ramped up the border control response.
“For these diseases, it is a case of being ‘alert, not alarmed’,” Mr Strong said.
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