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Australian and South African industries to work together

Australia and South Africa have joined forces to improve the position of the red meat industries in both countries.

Red meat industry representatives from Australia and South Africa today signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work more closely, particularly in the areas of market access, marketing and livestock research.

MLA Economic Planning and Market Services General Manager Dr Peter Barnard said the global red meat industry faced many challenges and it was important for the red meat industries in different countries to work together on common issues.

"While in one sense we are competitors, overall we face the same challenges," Dr Barnard said.

"Trade barriers, industry productivity and decreasing consumption in established western markets are some of the key issues the red meat industry must address globally - it makes sense to work together where possible."

Speaking at the signing of the MOU in Sydney today, South African Red Meat Producers Organisation Chairperson Fanie Nieuwoudt agreed many issues faced by producers and industry in both countries were the same.

"Sheepmeat and beef consumption are falling in South Africa and we hope to use some of the research behind MLA's successful 'Red Meat Feel Good' promotion campaign to help us reverse that trend," Mr Nieuwoudt said.

Conversely, a livestock research project in Australia is examining selected South African cattle genetics for potential in Northern Australia.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia President Bill Whitehead, signing on behalf of Australian sheepmeat producers, said it made sense to work together in many areas.

"Red meat producers the world over have a common goal of increasing their productivity and increasing red meat consumption," Mr Whitehead said.

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