GENETIC exporters and artificial insemination (AI) specialists came together at Beef 2015 to give a brief update on the burgeoning industry, following on from an impassioned forum held last year.
Panel members included Breedlink genetic consultant Don Nicol, who said recently released results from a report commissioned by the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association indicated Australia was a minor exporter.
He said more effort needed to be expended in the race to embrace embryo and semen exports.
“We’re exporting over 1 million head of live cattle per year but we’re failing to take advantage of this access to the world market,” Mr Nicol said.
“We’re not working together and it gives little credibility to the industry.”
Connections with other countries such as the US have already been made by individual stud owners and breeders, who had taken it upon themselves to attempt export, but Mr Nicol said the singular approach was costly and at times ineffective.
“We import 15 times more dairy and beef semen than we export,” he said, adding the US and Canada had built a successful export industry because of major support from their governments.
“We need funding to get this off the ground.”
Queensland Charolais breeder Prue Bondfield said fragmented attempts from individual studs were a key indicator that breeders needed to work together to create a single entity.
“There was an overwhelming agreement from the participants at the 2014 forum that this needed to happen,” she said.
“We need to develop new protocol and negotiation strategies with individual countries.”
A committee was formed at the 2014 forum, which has been largely chaired by the Ruminant Genetics Trade Advisory Group genetic scientist Carol Millar.
She said the Beef 2015 forum was another part of a large process to see the development of the export industry.
“Potential exporters need to be aware that IVF embryo export will require change in protocols of countries,” Ms Millar said, adding it was important for the industry to look at working alongside live export.