AUSTRALIAN sheep meat producers will soon be represented by a new body with a skills-based board offering engagement, financing and partnership opportunities, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia announced today.
The SCA will become a company limited by guarantee called Sheep Producers Australia Ltd within months after the change was supported by SCA members at a special general meeting in Dubbo yesterday.
SCA members voted to adopt the new governance framework, which will include a new constitution and agreement for transition to occur before November 2017.
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SCA president Jeff Murray said the council regularly reviewed its governance arrangements and decided SCA should refine its operations to better serve Australian sheep producers and in doing so, continue to reflect contemporary governance standards.
“This model brings a raft of opportunities for the entity such as greater engagement with producers and additional capacity for alternate funding and partnership models.
“It’s an exciting move for the organisation as the peak body for sheep producers nationally,” Mr Murray said.
“This governance review has been guided by members, who have been involved in a series of consultation meetings over the past few years, along with other key stakeholders, to determine which model would be most suitable for the future.”
SCA chief executive officer Dr Kat Giles said the new structure would give the organisation capacity to accommodate and adapt to changes in its operating environment.
“The organisation will continue to operate under the same Objects, but will introduce a skills-based Board to ensure the best interests of the national industry are promoted,” she said.
“Policy committees will continue to provide policy recommendations for board approval,” Dr Giles said.
“State farming organisations (SFOs) will be state members and there will be provision for organisational members and individual members once the structure is established. \
“The consultation process with producers and industry stakeholders has been extensive with formal governance advice received to ensure we develop the optimum representative organisation,” she said.
“The change to Sheep Producers Australia Ltd, better reflects the role the organisation plays in representing all sheep producers in the production of sheep meat.”
Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Richard Norton said it is critical, given the dynamic domestic and global environment, that sheep producers have a strong representative body that can drive the industry forward.
“MLA welcomes the new governance arrangements for the sheep industry peak body and looks forward to continuing to have a strong and productive relationship with the organisation, with the shared goal of ensuing sheep meat research and marketing levy investments contribute to producer productivity, sustainability and global competitiveness,” he said.
NSW Farmers sheep meat chair Ian Cargill also welcomed the change.
“NSW Farmers sheep producer members will now have a modern, strong peak industry council that can effectively advocate on behalf of our members at the national level to ensure the best outcomes in levy investment and, policy and program development.”
The SCA said the changes to the constitution are aligned with the organisation’s obligations under the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act to ensure that the important oversight relationship with MLA would continue.
The transition to the new company will take place over the next few months and is expected to be completed by November 2017.
Source: Sheepmeat Council of Australia.