Red meat has been the mainstay of many Western diets for decades, including our own in Australia, and yet there are new challenges and new opportunities for this evolving industry. The demand for more protein-rich diets is rapidly growing in many parts of Asia as incomes and population grow, providing new and expanding market opportunities for red meat producers. However, more potential meat eaters, does not necessarily mean more business, unless effective marketing strategies are put in place to target market needs and consumer preferences, and to reliably supply quality products.
In more traditional markets, including Australia’s domestic market, consumer preferences and tastes are changing – leaner cuts and ease of preparation are now well entrenched features of red meat products that predominate in our supermarkets. Inside the farm gate, the annual productivity gains from sheep and beef enterprises in Australia have generally been below those from other sectors such as grains and dairying. This creates competitive pressures for land, water and other resource use. Beyond the farm gate, the challenge to enhance competitiveness in more established markets, both domestically and internationally, is underpinned by the need for targeted development of high quality products based on efficient, sustainable and ethical management systems and all supported by effective marketing.
Already aired extensively in the media, looming challenges for the red meat industry include human health concerns (obesity/metabolic syndrome); the future of meat consumption in a food insecure world; and the industry’s ‘carbon footprint’. All of these are important and none can be ignored as the industry prepares for the coming decade.
The expert speakers at this forum will bring their wisdom, knowledge and great experience to bear on the opportunities and challenges for Australia’s domestic and international red meat industry, right along the value chain from consumer plate, supermarket cooler and back to producer paddocks. There will also be a Q & A panel session involving all speakers
Pat’s career with Woolworths spans over 20 years in multiple divisions including support and operational roles. Starting with Woolworths in 1987 as a butcher, Pat progressed through store operations before playing an integral part of the meat team in roles of State merchandise Manager – Meat in NSW, and Senior Business Manager – Meat within the National Support Office.