Welcome to 2019. Season’s greetings to everyone. Hopefully you have been able to spend some valuable time with family and friends that have allowed you to recuperate and have you fresh for the new year.
2018 was a year that had absolutely everything that the old poems said, “from drought to flooding rains”, however it was the dry weather that took control over the market. Supply was driven last year more than most by what the forecast was for the upcoming weeks and months. I am sure that if you charted the weather forecast, as the chance of meaningful rain decreased so did the EYCI.
The year was highlighted by BEEF18 as the industry moved to Rockhampton for the first week of May. It was great to see many of the same faces that always attend but watching the future of the industry come along to their first BEEF is always exciting. Especially when you see just how quick the industry is changing.
Not long ago market information was received by three main sources, the Country Hour, the Queensland Country Life and word of mouth either from your trusted source that was on the ground or hearsay from someone that was talking to someone else. The amount of freely available information is today so large that rather than lacking the amount, it is now how to interpret all that is read and heard and try form a response to it.
Maybe it will be one of the young people that was there at their first BEEF that will drive the change. Or maybe it will be the continued reaction to the ACCC’s Cattle and Beef market study. Since its release over 18 months ago we have seen the industry embrace the transparency that was one of the main recommendations. Many of the major processors have publicly available grids which they should be applauded for. But one of the other main recommendations that “Buyers, agents and producer representative bodies (led by the Cattle Council) should expand their engagement with producers to enhance industry understanding of price grids and their interpretation”. This should be a focus of our efforts as an industry as the year progresses, especially as the move to objective carcase measurement moves closer and closer to a reality in every abattoir.
Our industry as marketers of livestock and partners in producers’ businesses need to be part of this education engagement. We need to embrace the change and adapt.
In 2019 there will be a lot to do, but change is exciting.
- Paul Holm is a member of Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA).