Beef producers in northern Victoria were encouraged to have their say on how to best improve their industry at a meeting in Echuca yesterday.
The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie hosted the meeting which gave local beef producers the opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Senate inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector.
Senator McKenzie instigated the Senate inquiry following the recent Barnawartha Saleyards boycott, where around 10 buyers boycotted the sales to protest against pre-weigh selling.
Senator McKenzie said producers, stock agents, processors and other interested parties originally had until the end of May to provide submissions to the inquiry, but this had been extended until 30 June, 2015.
The reporting date for the inquiry is 12 August, 2015.
Senator McKenzie said a number of submissions had already been received but she strongly encouraged all local beef producers to take the time to have their say.
“Without our local beef producers, who grow the world’s best beef, we wouldn’t have an industry,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Many producers feel they are getting a rough deal from buyers and large processors and we want to hear why that is.
“This inquiry provides beef farmers with the perfect opportunity to have their say and to help shine a light on the issues they are facing.
“Equally, it’s a chance for stock agents, buyers, processors, local butchers, supermarkets and anyone with an interest and understanding of the beef industry to also have their say.
“To have a strong and viable industry we need everyone pulling in the same direction and I am confident through this inquiry we will be able to achieve many positive outcomes.”
Senator McKenzie said submissions could be made directly the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Secretariat at PO Box 6100, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600, with further information available on the Committee’s website or by phoning 02 6277 3511.