JBS producer’s forum in Penola looks at what’s happening in livestock

Over a hundred livestock producers congregated in Penola for the JBS Farm Assured Beef Regional Producer’s Forum last Thursday, where topics of the day included what is happening in the industry.

“The beef industry in Australia is strong with JBS Australia being the leading supplier of high quality beef to key Australian and international customers,” COO of JBS Southern Sam McConnell said.

“Our Southern operations is a leader in both branded beef and lamb product which delivers strong and sustained returns to our extensive producer base.

“The focus of our JBS Southern business will be working collaboratively with our JBS Farm Assured supplier base to deliver improved productivity and compliance to underpin consistency in our portfolio of high quality branded beef products and also deliver higher returns for these producers.”

Other topics included what’s new in the producer’s space.

“The Australian meat processing sector is a major export player. However, our costs to operate in terms of processing costs are significantly higher than competitors such as the United States and Brazil,” Mr McConnell said of the changes occurring in the beef industry.

“Key areas where we are significantly higher in costs than these countries are the three major costs of government meat inspection, energy, and labour. A large part of these costs above have a large Government red tape or regulatory component.

“The Australian processing sector (through the Australian Meat Industry Council and Australian Meat Processor Corporation), in order to address these costs and regain international competitiveness, is actively looking for both the Coalition Government and the Federal Opposition to work with the sector on a plan to address these costs as a matter of urgency.

“Importantly, by taking costs out of the processing sector, benefits will flow back down the supply chain to producers.”

Regarding technological changes, ‘DEXA’ could revolutionise meat processing:

“JBS Australia is committed to improving our technology and incorporating the technological advances in our Southern business,” Mr McConnell said. 

“This is evident from the introduction of the DEXA (Dual-Effect X-ray absorptiometry) advanced lamb robotic system in the JBS Brooklyn and Bordertown facilities. JBS is a leader in the robotics space and see the industry following suit in the near future.”

During the forum producers had the opportunity to ask questions, as they listened to information sessions from Richard Apps from MLA, Scientist David Pethick from Murdoch University, and special guest sheep producers from the U.S.A and New Zealand.

From JBS, producers heard from JBS Southern COO Sam McConnell, receive a Farm Assurance Market Update from Rob Ryan and Phill Green, and a livestock update from Steven Chapman.

These producer events have been held on a regular basis in the lead up to the Producer Awards at the end of August.

“Over the last seven years we have worked very closely building a program that celebrates the product produced by some of the best grass fed producers in the world,” Mr McConnell said.

“The Producer Awards function in Melbourne is a day to gather together the top producers from the JBS Farm Assurance Beef & Lamb program and recognise and celebrate their achievements in producing the highest quality grass fed beef and lamb globally. 

“The event also includes an afternoon of targeted sessions including technical and market information to ensure the continued success and performance improvement year on year for producers registered in the JBS Farm Assurance program.”