Climate-sustainable Beef Industry On Show At Beef2024

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

The role that the Australian Government is playing in supporting a climate-sustainable beef industry was showcased at Beef2024.

The government committed $6 million to support Beef2024 as part of the Support Regional Trade Events program election commitment.

Held in Rockhampton from 5-11 May, Beef2024 saw a record 119,000 people celebrate our nation’s world-class beef industry at Australia’s premier agricultural event for the meat and livestock industry.

Beef2024 attracted industry, international delegates, and political leaders including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt and Queensland Premier Steven Miles, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Secretary Adam Fennessy PSM.

At the event, the Prime Minister announced that $519.1 million in funding from the 2024-25 Budget was being invested into the Future Drought Fund to help farmers and regional communities prepare for the next drought and build climate resilience.

Minister Watt also announced a $4 million Livestock, Animal Traceability Development, Implementation, and Improvement Grant Round, which aims to support industry by helping businesses integrate new and improved traceability systems.

DAFF hosted two seminars on Resilient and Sustainable Farming, which included a presentation from Mr Fennessy on the national priorities for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and another seminar on Market Access and Biosecurity.

There was a joint Australian Government trade stall with DAFF, AusIndustry, RIC, Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Southern Queensland, and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, which showcased how the government is supporting the beef industry.

The department also had presence across the week on Beef TV, with DAFF, RIC and AusIndustry all participating. For the first time, Beef Australia offered a TV component to the event, which allowed domestic and international stakeholders to watch all the action of Beef 2024 online.

Beef TV had nearly 80,000 unique views and was watched from countries including Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Paraguay.

There were 11 DAFF videos produced for Beef TV including traceability, digital enhancements that are supporting exporters, biosecurity, the important work of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Beth Cookson, sustainability in the red meat sector, farm resilience, the agriculture counsellor network, and an outlook from ABARES.

Find out how the Australian Government is supporting the beef industry.


Watch a round-up of Beef 2024.

Watch a round-up of Beef2024

Video duration 4mins 13 secs

This is the transcript of a video that showcases DAFF’s involvement at Beef2024.

[Recording begins]

Tim Dawson [00:16]

Welcome to Rockhampton. We’re at Beef 2024 where 100,000 people flock from all around the world to celebrate the Australian beef industry. We’ve got producers, processors. We’ve got everyone in the supply chain that cares about this wonderful product that we produce. And of course, the department’s come here to talk with industry and the public about sustainability, drought preparedness, biosecurity and more. So let’s find out what this week’s really about.

Su McClusky [00:51]

The great thing about being here is I get to speak to producers. I get to speak and hear about their stories. See great examples of agtech innovation, and what’s happening on the ground because they become the stories that I tell to bring colour to life when I speak in global markets about how good we’re doing things in Australian agriculture.

Sir John Key [01:22]

Food production is in great shape in Australia, but it does face challenges, and those challenges are both cost, political buy in the community, and they’re up against some pretty well funded and effective lobby groups.

Dr Michael Patching [01:43]

We need to be using pain relief. And use of pain relief, there are several products out there. We can do nerve blocks and we can use gels.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese [01:52]

This is a celebration of all things beef. $519.1 million of the Future Drought Fund to be allocated for resilience.

Tim Dawson [02:10]

Jim has been producing beef jerky in Biltong for a long time in Australia. But he’s just gone through the process with the department to become an exporter of his products. G’day, Jim.

Jim [02:22]

I’d just like to thank the guys at DAFF and probably my CEO for making this. Being so persistent and continually keeping at it until it was done.

Murray Watt [02:43]

This is an incredible trade show. It’s a lot of fun, but there’s some serious work as well. Trade deals, we’ve got international guests here, lots of incredible R& D as well. The beef industry is going really strong, and you can see here at beef that it’s gonna be even stronger. What do you reckon, Adam?

Adam Fennessy [02:57]

I agree. You have to be here to see and appreciate the scale. All of industries here. It’s a great opportunity for us to support you. And you’ve been flat out the last three days. We’re also presenting and

showcasing our work on sustainable agriculture, Future Drought Fund, traceability, trade, supporting international delegates.

Tim Dawson [03:32]

It’s been a huge week up here in Rockhampton. We’ve been in many seminars. We’ve been to press conferences, we’ve met a lot of industry and we’ve been out on farm. The one message that keeps coming through about the Australian beef industry and its success is that if we really want a great trade market and keep producing wonderful products and getting it overseas, industry and government keep needing to work together. And the other thing is, we’re all looking forward to Beef2027.

[Recording ends]

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Australian Government will spend $519.1 million over the next 8 years to ensure rural and regional communities have what they need to plan for future drought.

Watch the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt announce the Australian Government will spend $519.1 million over the next 8 years to ensure rural and regional communities have what they need to plan for future drought.

Video duration 3 mins 54 secs

[Recording begins]

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese [00:01]

Australians know that what they get on their tables at their family dinners at night is a product of hard work, of our agricultural sector and of our farmers.

And in particular, this week is a celebration, of course, of all things beef.

We know that 70% of Australia’s beef that’s produced is for export. What that means is jobs here. But it also means economic benefit for Australia, whether it be the very important live cattle trade or whether it be meat products that are exported right around the world.

It’s anticipated the exports next year financial year could be worth up to some $12 billion. That’s an extraordinary achievement, of this industry. And it’s an industry that we’ve been determined to work with to work with when challenges have arisen, such as the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in Indonesia.

Now, today as well, we have a really important announcement of $519.1 million of the Future Drought Fund to be allocated for resilience. We held a forum last year that had input from the sector in how can we improve the way that the fund operates.

We know that the fund is important when events occur to be able to assist with recovery. But what we also know is that the science tells us when it comes to climate change, there will be more extreme weather events and they’ll be more intense whether it be floods, whether it be drought or whether it be cyclones. So what we need to do wherever possible, where it’s appropriate, is to invest in advance, to build resilience, to work with the farm sector, to make sure that spending a dollar today can save not just $5 or $6 down the track, but can also minimise the grief that farmers feel when they go through a drought situation.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt [02:13]

Just to back in what the Prime Minister has said on drought. This is a record investment from a federal government from the Future Drought Fund. We are investing more in drought resilience than any government in Australia has ever done from the Future Drought Fund. And as the Prime Minister said, the reason we need to do that is that too often in the past, governments have waited until droughts have happened and then put forward a chaotic, urgent response that hasn’t dealt with the underlying problems, and we want to change that.

We’ve changed it in the way that we approach disaster management by investing more in resilience, and we’re now changing it in terms of how we approach drought. By being much better prepared for drought

into the future that over half a billion dollar investment will do really practical things. It will help farmers learn what they can be doing on farm to make themselves ready and make their income streams ready for future drought.

I’ve seen for myself some of the fantastic work that the Future Drought Fund has funded to date growing drought, resilient feedstocks for our livestock, sharing climate science with our farmers so they know how to get better prepared. And importantly, also working with local communities to build social resilience.

Because, as the Prime Minister said, we often often think about the impact on farmers and that’s obviously important. But it also devastates social communities as well, and that this investment will go along towards that.

Every day that a farmer wakes up is a day that’s closer to drought, and unfortunately, we’re already seeing drought happen in Western Australia, Tasmania and other parts of the country. And that’s why it’s important that we get cracking with this investment. This money will be available from the first of July this year. We’re really looking forward to working with farmers and communities to get it rolling.

[Recording ends]

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt unveiling the $4 million Livestock, Animal Traceability Development, Implementation, and Improvement Grant Round

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt unveils the $4 million Livestock, Animal Traceability Development, Implementation, and Improvement Grant Round.

Video duration 3 mins 10 secs

[Recording begins]

So I’m very pleased to announce today, a new round of $4 million in grants from the Albanese government to support further traceability efforts within our livestock sector. One of the real priorities for the Albanese government since we came to office in the agriculture sector has been to strengthen our biosecurity and traceability systems.

Of course, it was only a few weeks after we came to office that we were faced with the very real threat of foot and mouth disease being literally on our doorstep in Indonesia and lumpy skin disease as well. Two diseases which would be absolutely devastating to our livestock industry if they entered the country with estimates of it potentially costing about $80 billion in lost exports and lost production.

So that’s why we’ve acted really strongly throughout this term to invest more in biosecurity and more in traceability. And today’s brands, of course, now build on that previous work. For those who don’t know what traceability is about, as the name suggests, it’s about electronic and other systems being installed so that farmers processors, the whole industry supply chain can trace where particular products have come from potentially even down to the individual farm that they have come from.

This is becoming a more important issue for our trade, for our biosecurity and for the industry as a whole. And even this morning, I participated in a seminar here talking about the future trade opportunities that we have in the beef industry. And one of the key issues that people were talking about was that these days our international markets and domestic consumers want to know where their food came from and what sort of circumstances it was pretty used in.

People want to know that food is being produced in a more sustainable manner, that animal welfare is being respected. And all sorts of other things that they want to know when they’re coming to buy their steaks, their lamb chops and their other food and traceability systems provide that opportunity to be able to trace literally down to the farm level, where a particular product has come from and how it’s been produced.

It’s also, as I say, incredibly important from a biosecurity perspective that we have strong traceability systems. If we were to have an outbreak of a serious animal disease like foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease or anything else, what we want to be able to do is as quickly as possible identify where that disease has come from, so that particular work can be put into that region to lock things down and get on top of a disease outbreak before it spreads to the rest of the country. So traceability is a vital tool for our farmers and our whole agriculture sector for biosecurity reasons for our trade opportunities. And the Albanese government is demonstrating yet again that we are backing our agriculture sector with real dollars through today’s grant announcement. We’ll be opening applications for these grants soon, and people will be able to get anywhere between about $50,000 and $500,000 to install these systems on farm in processing sheds and other parts of the supply chain. So this is more good news for our farmers and our agriculture sector here at beef.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry Secretary Adam Fennessy PSM speaks about how the government is supporting a climate-sustainable beef industry.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry Secretary Adam Fennessy PSM speaks about how the government is supporting a climate-sustainable beef industry.

Video duration 3 mins 10 secs

[Recording begins]

Jade Egan [00:01]

So what has the department came out this week?

Adam Fennessy [00:03]

Thanks, Jade. So, firstly, I want to say it’s so good to be here at Beef 2024. All of industry is here,

here community, there’s business. It’s the full supply chain, so it’s a really important opportunity for us. We’ve been talking about a lot of things, particularly climate sustainable agriculture with a focus on beef and the beef industry. We’re also talking about climate resilience. So the Prime Minister and Minister Murray Watt, the Minister for Agriculture, had an important announcement this morning about the Future Drought Fund, which is more than half a billion dollars to invest in climate resilience.

Our department is also supporting international delegations. So we have international trade delegations from many countries, from Vietnam to Pakistan, to Bangladesh to many others. That’s the critical work that we do as a department for trade, particularly into the beef and livestock industry. And then finally, it’s a great opportunity for our department, including me, to hear directly from industry community, all the stakeholders along the supply chain. It’s one of the most integrated comings-together of part of the agriculture industry in Australia being the beef sector. So it’s an incredible opportunity in both directions.

Jade Egan [01:21]

Just going back to the drought package. Why has it taken so long to get that funding?

Adam Fennessy [01:28]

Well, one thing I’ll say about the drought package is that different parts of Australia are either in drought coming out of drought, entering drought. It’s a long-term risk. We’ve been getting on the front foot. So even though it may feel like it has taken a while, we’ve been doing ongoing work on this for many years. I was in Rockhampton last year in it was about October, where a review of the Future Drought Fund approach was launched by the Productivity Commission and the Federal Treasurer. So we needed to learn from that and calibrate our approach through Minister Watt to make sure that we’re listening to that external advice of how to be impactful for drought funds. What’s so important is that broader resilience idea that it’s not just about drought. It’s about preparing for climate impacts, whether it’s flood fire, dry seasonal conditions. Australia’s such a big nation that some parts of Australia, we’re getting too much water and rain, other parts, like south west western Australia or even some of the Strait islands north of Tasmania are in really hard drought now. So it’s that long-term ongoing, science based research around how we best support agriculture communities. So in one respect, the work’s been ongoing, and the announcement today is the fruition of that review from last year, as long as well as the work we’ve been doing over many years.

Jade Egan [02:53}

Sustainability has been such a major thing here this week already. How integral is it to have transparency process?

Adam Fennessy [03:04]

It is critical and what I loved about some of the sessions I’ve been to. So this morning I was there for the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework annual update. What is inspiring about that is we have incredible agribusinesses that are leading their internationally-faced or focused, and in particular, they’re looking at what customers are expecting globally. So the session I went through this morning, including panel members from McDonald’s who are doing this globally. There’s international regulation that was also discussed this morning, For example, in the European Union, transparency is critical. Preparing ourselves for what overseas markets are expecting, particularly because it’s a big export facing industry. Transparency is critical. So our best practise, agribusinesses know what is expected of them internationally, as well as from an Australian government perspective. How do we also bring the full spectrum of agribusiness along with us, those who are market, international export facing to more domestic producers and the whole supply chain as well from not just producers but processors.

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about the work that we’re doing in support of the minister on sustainable agriculture. We’ve got an upcoming forum in Toowoomba in two weeks’ time where we’re talking about our agriculture and land sector plan in support of Minister Watt and the Net zero approach across Australia. So that’s going to be a big opportunity for us to engage with agriculture across the whole of Australia. It’ll be in Toowoomba.

And the second point I wanted to make is we’re also here with CSIRO, Australia’s leading science-based organisation. This is evidenced and science based. So I’ve been spending time with Doug Hilton, the CEO of CSIRO. That’s a critical partnership for us to work together with the best science, the best research and development corporations across Australia and with the Australian beef industry.

[Recording ends]

Tina Hutchison, Deputy Secretary of Agricultural Trade and Regulation at DAFF, discusses the department’s biosecurity and market access seminar at Beef2024.

Tina Hutchison, Deputy Secretary of Agricultural Trade and Regulation at DAFF, discusses the department’s biosecurity and market access seminar at Beef2024.

Video duration 3 mins 26 secs

Beef 2024 is a flagship event for the Australian beef industry. It’s held every three years. It brings together all of the industry, it brings international people. It brings in producers. It brings in many people from around Australia and around the world with an interest in Australian beef. The department has many programs and policies that affect producers, and the bit of the business I’m in, particularly in trade.

It’s vitally important that we understand what’s going on for Australian beef producers. Hear directly from them. Have the opportunity to engage in one place with either them directly or their representative bodies,

and to help them understand what we do, why we do it, how we’re working to make sure that we access and maintain international trade markets for them. What some of the challenges are that we’re currently facing and also some of the investment. We’ve got to overcome some of those challenges and make sure that Australian beef industries and exports are strong now and into the future.

The Australian biosecurity system is a significant and important one. Australia is an island nation as we know, and we need to manage the threat of pest and diseases arriving on Australian shores. That’s good for our human health. It’s good for our animal plant and environmental health.

But it’s also a significant underpinning for our international markets, because when we are free from pests and diseases, it means that our producers are not having to pay additional money to manage them. So the cost of production is reduced.

But equally, it gives us a really important negotiating point with our trading partners. So the systems are incredibly important. None of the systems can operate effectively without everyone in the whole system doing their bit, and that includes producers. It includes processors. It includes exporters, and it includes governments, Commonwealth but also state and territories. So the systems are interlinked. One bit doesn’t operate without the other and opportunities like this to talk about that, hear directly from people but also describe that system how it fits together and what it relies on is a really important opportunity.

And we got that opportunity this morning and we had terrific engagement. We got some great questions from a range of people and it certainly helped me understand where people or what people are thinking about what’s on their mind, what’s important to them. And people are focused on the future, as are we. How can we improve the systems we’ve currently got and reduce some of the gaps and the bits of our system that aren’t operating currently as well as they possibly could.

It’s been a really fun and enjoyable week here in Rockhampton at Beef 2024 in amongst all of that fun and that that enjoyment has been serious work. Serious topics have been discussed. I was lucky enough to attend a seminar yesterday morning hearing from colleagues and competitors. But colleagues in the United States about some of the issues that they’re facing as well. So, what I’m taking away

is a sense of optimism. There’s lots to be done, but there’s lots of good work going on across the business, and it didn’t matter whether you were talking to industry or to government. People are talking about working together, about having standards and systems that work for us all and that is terrifically optimistic for me.

/Public Release. View in full here.