SHEEP Producers Australia is supporting sheep and red meat industry initiatives on agriculture-related transport, live export and wool supply during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
SPA chief executive officer Stephen Crisp said the peak body is committed to working with the Department Agriculture Water and Environment and wider red meat industry to ensure feed, fodder, animal health products and livestock transport is exempt from border closures to continue the supply of food for Australia and our international markets.
SPA said it would continue to support the work by the Red Meat Advisory Council and the broader industry with ports and the federal and state governments to ensure the live export trade can continue to operate without compromising animal welfare or biosecurity despite restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Industry is very well-placed to ride out any issues that the virus may put in our path.
“International markets, including China, have maintained volumes, even if the mix has changed between food service and other retail channels, and we can see this repeated as the virus peak shifts across our markets,” Mr Crisp said.
Littleproud appoints new engagement officer
SPA has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud on implementing additional measures to maintain agricultural production and supply chains throughout the COVID-19 response.
On Monday, Mr Littleproud announced the appointment of former Department of Agriculture deputy secretary Mark Tucker as the senior agriculture industry engagement officer to be the key liaison between the department and agriculture, fisheries and forestry stakeholders affected by COVID-19. He will be supported by a team of department officers.
Mr Littleproud said Mr Tucker understands the ag sector through-and-through from his distinguished career working closely with the industry’s stakeholders and peak bodies.
“From tomorrow, he’ll be working with Commonwealth Departments and State Governments to ensure agriculture industry perspectives inform our decision-making.
“This role will give us regular status updates on key issues in this sector and it’ll help us respond exactly where we need to.”
SPA also supporting wool supply chain efforts
Mr Crisp said SPA is supporting WoolProducers Australia to ensure the wool supply chain is part of the essential services framework.
“SPA will continue to collaborate with the wool sector to ensure sheep producers are able to maintain business as usual for all facets of their business,” he said.
“The situation is constantly evolving, and we understand these are uncertain times.
As an industry we are committed to continuing to support our sheep producers and broader agriculture industries, whilst upholding the highest standards of biosecurity and animal welfare throughout the supply chain,” Mr Crisp said.