Economic Sustainability Indicators for the Australian Beef Industry

Oliver and Doam - Peter Barnard & Peter Weeks

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Probably not as relevant for individual producers, but relevant for the entire beef industry as a whole.

This report was written to assist the Beef Industry Steering Group select indicators for economic sustainability.

“A thriving Australian beef industry that continually improves the well being of people (including cattle producers), animals and the environment.”

What is economic sustainability?

  • Maintenance of economic capital within the industry.
  • The concept of keeping economic capital intact, as the principal feature of economic sustainability, can be viewed as analogous to the concept of preserving natural resources (environmental capital) in terms of environmental sustainability.

To maintain economic capital the industry:

  • Operating revenue must exceed operating costs.
  • Invariably capital resources are consumed in the production process – these must be replaced for future production to occur.
  • Adequate remuneration must be provided to all those supplying labour involved in raising cattle and producing beef, including property owners.
  • A reasonable rate of return must be achieved on capital invested in the industry.

Sustainability indicators put forward to be used both by individual producers and the broader industry are:

  • Farm rate of return on investment
  • Feedlot margins
  • Processor margins
  • Net Investment on beef farms
  • Farm equity
  • Farm productivity
  • Comparative farm cost of production
  • Value of production
  • Australian beef price competitiveness index
  • Australian global beef brand index
  • Index of the economic barriers to trade

It is suggested that most indicators be calculated as rolling averages over a number of years.

2016 - Australia - Oliver and Doam - Peter Barnard & Peter Weeks
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