22 February 2015
The $93 million Australian Agricultural Company’s (AACo) Livingstone Beef facility was opened by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Saturday.
It will process 220,000 head of cattle a year providing boxed manufacturing beef to domestic and international markets, including the US and Asia.
AACo chairman Don McGauchie said recent trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China would open up more market opportunities.
“Asia’s growing middle class is projected to number 3.2 billion by 2030 – and is expected to double the region’s food consumption by 2050.
“As a consequence, we are on the cusp of an export bonanza,” Mr McGauchie said.
“AACo wants to see Northern Australia play a significant role in providing high quality food for Asia’s mega-middle class.
“Livingstone Beef provides new avenues for beef producers in the north to market their beef to Asia and the world.”
Described yesterday as the most modern and technically-advanced beef-processing plant in Australia, the facility will employ 250 people and once fully operational will process cattle 16 hours a day.
“We want Northern Australia to grasp the opportunity of being a supplier of high quality food for Asia’s middle class and really become Australia’s own land of opportunity,” Mr McGauchie said.
Mr Abbott said the new Livingstone facility confirmed the turnaround in the fortunes of the north Australian cattle industry after the crippling impact of the Gillard government’s 2012 ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia.
He said the industry could now play a “vital and dramatic” part in Australia’s future after “staring into the abyss of doom” in the aftermath of the ban on the live cattle trade.
Courtesy of NT News