What are the major industry markets?

The export meat industry in Australia is a large and important part of Australia’s economy. The export of meat and livestock from Australia is now worth in excess of $8 billion a year.

Australia is the world’s seventh largest beef producer and second largest exporter of red meat. Beef production is widespread across Australia with around 28.5 million head of cattle across over 77,000 properties. Over 2,000 pork producers supply around 5.6 million pigs to the market annually. Australia’s 74.7 million sheep are reared for both wool and meat, and farmed on over 45,000 properties.

In 2010, the value of global food exports was estimated at US$1,026 billion, of which the world’s largest food exporter, the United States, had a market share of 10.8 per cent. Australia ranked 16th in the world as a food exporter and 32nd as a food importer. For processed food and beverage products, alcoholic beverages were the most globally traded in value terms in 2010, followed by meat. In 2010-11, the value of Australian AgriFood exports was $30.5b of which meat was 24%.

Australia’s major meat markets include:

  • USA
  • European Union (EU)
  • Middle East
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • China

Who can supply products to the export market?

There are specific government regulations and standards that are controlled by the Department of Agriculture.  These regulations apply to meat businesses that supply export markets.  A company can only export if it has the appropriate export registration with Department of Agriculture. Any raw meat materials used in an export product must be supplied from another export registered business.  Products produced at an export-registered business can be sold on both the export market and on the domestic market.

Who can supply products to the domestic market?

Products produced at a meat business with domestic registration can only be sold and consumed within Australia. Government regulations do not allow domestic registered businesses to sell products on the export market, although under special arrangement with the Department of Agriculture some domestic registered business can export to countries that accept the Australian Standard as their importing standard.  Only meat businesses meeting the Australian Standard for the hygienic production and transportation of meat and meat products for human consumption will be registered to operate. Domestic meat businesses are regulated by state governments.