MEAT and Livestock managing director Richard Norton deserves congratulations for his recent public declaration supporting sheep breech surgery with analgesia.
He correctly advises us to regard our customers with great care and respect, and listen and react positively to clear market signals. Consumers have a keen desire to know as much as they can about what they eat, in this new age of vastly powerful social media, that can either make or break a strong retail brand literally overnight.
He correctly advises us all to be proud of what we do, and defend our excellent welfare practices honestly and openly face the danger of bans or draconian legislation being introduced that would deprive us of our farming rights, as recently witnessed in the European Union. In reality, who reasonably could argue with any sheep or cattle surgery accompanied with analgesia, as seen in the human world literally millions of times every day?
And this is the essence of Richard’s logic. Don’t hide and hope these issues will go away; they won’t. Be proud and be public and scientifically defend what you are doing. We have a brilliant story to tell, so let’s tell it and stand together.
And this sadly contrasts against what Australian Wool Innovation has been not doing for the past five years; an organisation that has successfully buried their heads deeply in the restaurants and coffee shops festooned around their swank offices at The Rocks in Sydney. And owing to their future careers, none of them are comfortable talking about these unpleasant surgeries.
It doesn’t matter that the European market for wool is declining and our customers there have been begging for help to face their customers complaints and enquiries for years, their response is to try and distract us with other matters of levy folly such as trying to compete with the existing wool market auction system via the ill-fated Wool Exchange Portal, which based on AWI’s past commercial performance, is destined to fail and be closeted with the plethora of white elephants produced by your long-suffering and poorly-invested levy.
Once more, we commend and thank Richard Norton for his freshness and commercial market sense. We sincerely hope he prevails.
Robert McBride, Chair, AWGA, Tolarno Station.