5 Sep 2014

Meat export target 'defies gravity'

9:00 am on 5 September 2014

A farmer campaigning for meat industry reform says the goal set for increasing the value of meat exports is impossible under current conditions.

Meat Industry Excellence group chairman John McCarthy is urging farmers not to be distracted by a modest rise in lamb and beef prices and an improved outlook.

He said the fundamental problems of the industry have not changed, with its processing over-capacity and fixation on procurement.

Mr McCarthy said the government goal of lifting the value of red meat exports from eight to more than $11 billion dollars by 2024 defied gravity.

"If you extrapolate the trend line out, we're looking at 15 or 16 million lambs. Well, to meet those government export targets, they actually have no basis in reality because you would have to be getting three times the current price we're receiving for lambs and that's just not going to happen under the current model."

Mr McCarthy said the Meat Industry Excellence group expected to release a business analysis of the sector in a few weeks.

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