INDUSTRY needs to think beef before coat colour.
That was the message from Charolais Society of Australia Breed Development Manager Colin Rex when delivering his presentation on how to ensure the ongoing growth, profitability and viability of the registered cattle industry.
Mr Rex wasn’t afraid to share information and details on society expenditure and challenges including 2010 ARCBA figures that on average 30 per cent of society expenditure is salary, nine per cent promotion, three per cent board and 0.5 per cent for research and development.
He said that societies needed to start treating themselves as businesses and the days of employing a board member based on their breed association were long gone.
“If we can move towards a skill based board and potentially be like other boards where you bring in people who have the skills that other board (members) don’t,” he said.
“As a breed society that’s what we do, we provide a service and if you are not providing a good service you are out of the water.”
The ARCBA Young Breed Leaders Workshop was open to members of any breed.
Mr Rex said as industry they needed to stop viewing other societies as competitors and market the value of genetics and beef as a whole.
“If a consumer is demanding beef (then) processors are making money out of producer’s beef and we go back down and there will be demand for bulls because people will want to breed more cattle,” he said.
“So maybe instead of saying Charolais out performs an Angus or Angus outperforms Wagyu or whatever, instead of spending money in that sector maybe as an industry we are far better off ensuring our viability by going to the consumer and pushing beef.
“Red Angus and Simmentals held their national sale together the other day, when I was a boy you would never get two breed societies operating as a national sale together.”
“Ultimately forums like this have huge potential because as industry we need to work together and I think that’s how we are going to ensure the viability of the registered cattle sector. If we keep working independently I think some of us have got a limited future.”