Report Synopsis

How the North West Queensland Beef Industry can Survive and Prosper

Colin Burnett

The beef industry in north west Queensland (NWQ) is at serious risk of losing future prosperity if basic business management principles, intellectual capital, climate change and the global outlook for beef aren’t considered. The following report set out to address how agriculture in the NWQ region can survive and prosper into the future.

Production has traditionally been placed ahead of profit by business owners and managers around the world. This is also present in NWQ. However, this research found that financial profit is key to having a sustainable business. Without this, the business won’t be around in the long-term. Moreover, the idea of increasing shareholder wealth is the holy grail to the financial part of business sustainability in NWQ.

This report suggests that business owners need to constantly improve their knowledge base as society changes. This leads into the idea of intellectual capital and how important it is to the beef industry into the future. This report has focused on knowledge that can be brought into the region to improve business performance. Intellectual capital is the first stage of this.

A typical business in NWQ is heavily reliant on both input and output commodity prices. Findings show that hedging against commodity price changes is a major part of business sustainability in NWQ.

Also, there are ways to improve the risk management of the changing and already highly variable climatic patterns across Northern Australia. Agricultural businesses and their management of soils, water, pasture and the environment have an impact on these delicate tropical ecosystems in NWQ.

Lastly, this report suggests that businesses need to address the changing global image of beef and red meat producing businesses. As to how to engage and interact with the community, business ethics and quality of product are major factors in surviving and prospering in NWQ.

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