WA Producers Co-operative receives $120k boost for meat exports

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Stirlings to Coast Farmers chief executive Christine Kershaw and Woogenellup farmer Ken Drummond.
Camera IconStirlings to Coast Farmers chief executive Christine Kershaw and Woogenellup farmer Ken Drummond. Credit: Cally Dupe

The WA Producers’ Co-operative’s plans to export frozen and chilled meat across the world has received a $120,000 Federal Government boost.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Tuesday announced $120,000 funding for the for-profit co-operative launched last year.

He said the funding came from the Package Assisting Small Exporters program, and would help the co-operative map supply chains to identify value chain capabilities and export opportunities.

“An effective strategy for collaborative exporting of chilled and frozen meat products will provide WA livestock producers with a competitive advantage to access and participate in export markets,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The project aims to drive profits for smaller exporters in WA by supporting their market diversification efforts towards the export of higher-value chilled and frozen meat products.

“This project will be delivered by a consortium of farmers, supply chain partners, researchers and marketing consultants.

“The co-operative will pass on the project findings through case studies delivered at industry workshops and forums.”

WA Producers’ Co-operative chief executive Christine Kershaw said the funding would be used to bring in “external expertise” to help export frozen products.

“We are looking at building up our supply base and programs so we can produce better quality meat and also prove and verify where that product has come from, to use that as differentiation,” she said.

“Our target is the high-value export market, and for that you have to have an identifiable product, and that is hard to do.”

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said by supporting WA’s smaller agricultural exporters to overcome barriers to their participation in the export sector, the Australian Government was opening access to overseas markets and helping drive profits back through the farm gate.

“When it comes to ensuring a stable, reliable export trade income for our producers, looking at ways to diversify into new markets is just so important,” Mr Wilson said.

“The team at WA Producers’ Co-operative are fierce advocates for their members, the industry and our great State, and I know producers will be very interested in this initiative and the potential for it to open up new opportunities for them.”

The for-profit, distributing co-operative has 15 farming businesses as formation members, which each have one voting share.

The co-operative’s founding members, mostly Great Southern farmers, launched the organisation in Kendenup in February last year and appointed a board last May.

The farmer-owned lamb, beef and niche-grain commodity supply group aims to value-add by securing premium markets.

It was launched by grower group Stirlings to Coast Farmers after a two-year feasibility study funded by the State Government.

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