Western Australia’s meat-processing industry has received a major boost with the launch of a State Government assistance scheme to enhance international competitiveness.
Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said the Meat Industry Strategic Development Scheme would enable the industry to better meet global competition.
A total of $1.5 million in funding has been allocated to the scheme.
It will assist local companies to invest in new processing and manufacturing equipment.
“To become a player in the world market, the meat-processing industry needs to look for new products, services and markets,” Mr Cowan said.
He said WA meat products had a good ‘clean’ image that provided an ideal basis for industry growth. While live animal exports had been increasing, processed meat exports had remained relatively static.
“This scheme, administered by the Department of Commerce and Trade, offers great potential to stimulate more value-adding in WA with a corresponding growth in our processed meat exports,” Mr Cowan said.
“It specifically targets companies that are prepared to be innovative. We want them to pursue new markets, to produce new or different meat products. There is also the opportunity for them to find new uses for by-products, rather than simply discarding them.
“The Government also wants to encourage meat processors to look at the way they market their products. The challenge is to adopt new marketing approaches through different presentation or delivery methods.
“We are keen to support the introduction of new technologies and equipment to enhance competitiveness and to assist abattoirs to build their operations with an eye to capitalising on export opportunities for their products.
“There has been significant rationalisation in recent years, with a number of abattoirs closing. It is imperative that those remaining are both innovative and competitive in today’s environment.
“This means being prepared to make changes to improve their competitive edge. The grants scheme will provide crucial support to enable this to occur across the industry.”
Mr Cowan said processed meat exports generated more than $200 million a year, but the grants could help to increase this figure substantially.
Applications for the scheme close on January 11.
Further information is available from Frank Gardiner at Commerce and Trade on 9327 5666 or Freecall 1800 199 251.
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595