MLA avoids motion to wind up organisation

Countryman

Meat and Livestock Australia has avoided a movement from within its ranks to wind the organisation up.

MLA, which is a producer-owned company that works in partnership with industry and government for more than 47,000 livestock producer members, voted down a special resolution which was put to its annual general meeting last week by a group of members calling for it to be wound up before December 2011.

But 84.7 per cent of members rejected the bid.

Chairman Don Heatley said he was reassured by the show of faith.

“Improvements in the way MLA provides services should be sought in a positive and constructive manner, rather than a destructive one with the potential to severely hamper the industry’s marketing and research efforts,” he said.

The Australian Beef Association, an alternative representative body, compared MLA to the Burmese military junta.

Chairman Brad Bellinger said the body deserved to be dissolved because of its greed, claiming its managers were more interested in their own salaries than producers.

“Whilst they have feathered their own nests, they have seen the cattle prices of those who fund them fall to the lowest in the developed world and by far the lowest percentage of the consumer dollar,” he said.

“(It’s) now on 27 per cent, whilst the rest of the world is on over 40 per cent.”

“They have worked with the supermarkets on their huge mark-ups, at producer and consumer expense.”

MLA claims achievements including a 9.1 per cent increase in domestic expenditure on red meat last financial year and the growing momentum of Meat Standards Australia, which graded 1.25 million head of cattle - an increase of 27 per cent on the previous year.

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