NBF was reviewed in 2017/2018 to place a stronger focus on initiatives that deliver the greatest return on investment, including innovative new crop trials, improving regional infrastructure, supporting practice change within industry, and policy development that will lead to improvements in productivity.
The northern beef industry turns off between 250,000 and 320,000 cattle per year from 150 pastoral stations in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. Over half that amount, or about 180,000 cattle, enter the live export market. A further 44,000 cattle are processed domestically, and the remainder travel to other properties for backgrounding.
The strong live export focus in the northern beef industry means it does not realise the full potential available from boxed beef and other live export markets (Figure 1). The industry is also highly reliant on the Indonesian market, which has both price and volume volatility risks.
The project was designed to be export supply chain-focused and market driven. The market-driven approach was essential since, unless alternatives were actively developed, the tendency will be to sustain existing markets which do not realise the growth potential or risk mitigation available from diversification.
The export-supply chain focus is integral to the design given the whole of the industry will need to adapt over time to realise the benefits of the market driven approach.
The first phase of the NBF project implemented a suite of studies that systematically examined the whole of the industry to identify the constraints and opportunities to growth (Figure: 2). The aim was to develop the knowledge base, relationships and shared understanding on which industry and government could individually and collaboratively develop northern beef in phase 2.
‘Joining the Dots’ on key northern beef futures informing studies
Industry and Government have joined the dots on five major themes arising that will further accelerate the development of the northern beef industry. The findings from a number of completed first phase informing studies are summarised in a ‘Joining the Dots’ report to:
- outline constraints and opportunities at specific points in the supply chain identified by NBF
join the dots in terms of what the NBF findings mean across the northern beef industry.
The key reports are detailed below in Table 1.
Why was it chosen
|Markets||Outline key Asian market opportunities/constraints|
|Beef insights – capturing Asian markets opportunities||Outline specifications and potential market of FTAs|
|Australian Free Trade Agreements||Outline specifications and potential market of FTAs|
|Profiling Chinese agribusiness (beef) investment||Investment mode and preferences of Chinese|
|New/innovative beef supply chain models in Thailand||Case study of is involved and potential benefits|
|Supply Chains||Creating efficiency in the supply chain|
|Innovative business models for value creation||Alternative supply chain business models|
|Northern Beef Infrastructure Audit||Identify constraints and priority investments|
|Valuing security of supply||Potential of alternative value chains|
|Northern Beef Value Chain Trust and Collaboration||How the markets drives and impedes collaboration|
|Production||Examine ways to increase value of production|
|Northern Rangelands Aggregated Feeding Facilities||Potential for backgrounding and intensive feed base|
Business Improvement Grants
|Pastoralists identify their own development priorities|
Other informing reports from the Northern Beef Futures project include:
- Pilbara cattle holding yards feasibility report, Pilbara Development Commission
- Pilbara truck wash feasibility assessment, Pilbara Development Commission