Key players of the livestock export industry have met in Perth today to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector.
It's the first time the whole West Australian live export supply chain has got together since ESCAS was implemented, the system that assures the welfare of animals leaving Australia to overseas markets.
Topics covered included the roll out of welfare improvements, future opportunities and the regulatory environment including opportunities for ESCAS reform.
Chairing the meeting was Kevin Keatley, President of the Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA.
He says today’s meeting is all about keeping everyone better informed.
“The ESCAS system in particular, what’s working and what’s not.
“We must maintain the animal welfare side of things, it’s something that we want to look at improving.”
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council’s CEO Alison Penfold predicts the number of cattle, sheep and goats exported from Australia could reach five million head a year.
“The future of the trade is strong and with the improvements in animal welfare we have set our sights on reaching exports of five million head of cattle, sheep and goats in 2-3 years,” she said.
It’s nearly double the number exported last financial year but Mr Keatley is confident the supply chain in Australia can pull it off.
“There are great opportunities in Indonesia, Vietnam and into China even.
“The economies of the world are growing so therefore people are looking for better quality meat which Australia can supply.
“If the demand is out there and the price is right then people will gear up.”
He says a common narrative for all of the supply chain is important when dealing with an incoming Coalition Government.
“I think the message has got to be the same from everybody and the Government of the day needs to be well aware of the problems and the issues and what opportunities we have and work with government to make it all happen.
“We have a great ability to move very quickly in this area.”