September 27, 2013
The WA beef industry is at a crossroads. That is the belief of Bridgetown commercial beef and seedstock producer Mike Introvigne. And Mr Introvigne believes it can change and hopefully move into a more prosperous position for those involved throughout the entire supply chain, or it can remain as is and potentially see a slow decline. Mr Introvigne wrote to Farm Weekly recently outlining a number of areas which he believes needed to be addressed. An original member of the WA Beef Council (WABC), which was formed just over two years ago, Mr Introvigne later resigned largely due to the frustration of the slow bureaucratic process which the WABC had to operate under. The WABC was set up by Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman at the time as part of an attempt to improve the state of the industry. For many cattle producers the jury was still out on the council, but as Mr Introvigne explained the issues were far bigger than just the WABC. “I made a conscious effort to remain silent after resigning from the WABC and the Producers Round Table (PRT) because I believed it would have been counterproductive to make public comment and I did not want to derail the work being undertaken by the WABC,” Mr Introvigne said. “Now some 18 months later I feel compelled to voice my concerns for the future of the WA beef industry which is at a precarious point with many wondering what the future may hold for their beef production enterprise.” Mr Introvigne outlined the high Australian dollar as a hurdle for the industry but believed WA export processors could be doing more. “Every time someone dares to say we lack slaughter capacity they are hounded down by bureaucrats and being told there is excess capacity – rubbish.” he said. “If there was it would be being utilised to service the United States’ appetite for one. “The difference lies between perceived capacity and actual capacity. “WA’s largest processor, by its own admission, has no intention of increasing capacity because they are comfortable with the current situation of, I believe, 600 head a day.