Producers must take charge of beef industry's future

Producers must take charge of beef industry's future

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AgForce's Advancing Beef Forum will help producers shape change rather than just react to it.

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There is no doubt that the Queensland beef industry - which produces 60 per cent of domestic consumption and is perfectly positioned to take advantage of growing demand from Asian markets for our high-quality, grass-fed product - is on the path to a stellar future.

While it's too early to say the drought has broken, the rains have brought welcome pasture growth in many regions and new confidence to producers.

We can now start thinking about the future rather than just surviving the dry.

It starts with rebuilding the herd decimated by last year's flood and by herd reduction due to drought, in particular the core breeding stock.

But we also need to think about other things that will make our industry great again - meeting changing consumer preferences, showcasing our sustainability, better co-ordinating and co-operating with other links in the supply chain, increasing our share of industry value.

Some people see these as challenges, but I think we producers should view them as opportunities.

To ensure these opportunities benefit the first part of the supply chain and then flow on down the stream, primary producers need to take an active part in driving the industry's development.

Letting our future be controlled by someone else along the supply chain is like letting the tail wag the dog.

That is why AgForce holds events like next week's Advancing Beef Forum in Charters Towers - my home turf. So that producers can shape change rather than just react to it.

By understanding the market forces, by embracing best practice, by engaging with the rest of the supply chain, we can ensure we do not become price-taking, risk-taking suppliers of raw product.

Yes, grazing is a busy game but producers need to be engaged in their industry to both drive and prepare for a profitable future.

Attending industry events - like the Advancing Beef Forum or last year's AgForce Cattle Board event in Kumbia - is not time lost. It is time cleverly invested.

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