THE WA beef industry has a bright future. That was the key message from Minderoo Group's Eric Broad who spoke at the recent AgConnectWA conference in Perth.
Mr Broad was upbeat and excited about the opportunities WA has in front of it in regard to supplying beef to domestic and international markets.
He outlined the reasons behind Minderoo Group's recent acquisition of Harvey Beef.
"Andrew Forrest sees a great future in agriculture throughout WA," Mr Broad said.
"The outlook for beef is fantastic over the next 10 years so the opportunities for the Harvey Beef facility are definitely there.
"With some investment there are real opportunities in the supply chain and we want to see Harvey Beef become the premium abattoir in WA again."
Mr Broad admitted there was still a lot of work to be done along the supply chain in WA to make the most of the opportunities in the industry.
"We all know in WA we have a boom and bust supply, the spring flush comes in and then the pastoral cattle are turned off in the north and we have a period over February, March and April where there is nothing," he said.
"We really need to iron that out, especially from a marketing point of view, we have to have able to deliver a consistent product 12 months of the year.
"That is something both the lamb and beef industries have struggled with in this State."
If the supply issue was not dealt with Mr Broad said WA would miss out on the opportunities coming from China.
"China is the market everyone is talking about," he said.
"It is so big but it wants everything in scale.
"That market is forecast to go back a bit from their demand point of view, but that is more to do with the fact they can't get enough product.
"Australia needs to get its supply chain organised to get into that market and supply some scale.
"We need to start showing some strong signals that we are able to supply otherwise markets like Brazil, which can supply a lot of cattle, will leave us out in the cold."
Mr Broad said the Minderoo Group was keen to work through the supply challenge in WA.
"There is still a lot of work to be done and we have to starting thinking outside the square and start doing things differently. If we don't WA won't have a beef herd," he said.
"Beef has been on the bottom of the pile as the least productive and least financial rewarding of the industries.
"But with Harvey Beef we hope to be able to change things and we are looking forward to working with producers to get beef back on top."