Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14

            The start of day two started around 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  We took a bus to the headquarters of Meat & Livestock Australia.  We were greeted by Robert Baker, who gave a majority of the presentation with the help of his other colleagues that work in other departments of the organization.  They indicated that the agency they would be similar to in the United States would be Beef Check-Off.  This is a producer owned organization that is owned by 47,500 producers throughout the country of Australia.  They do not regulate the industry instead they promote it through different programs with the producer as well as the consumer both domestically and overseas.  Australia produces more beef than their country can consume, therefore in order to have solid market prices Australia must rely on their export markets.  They really promote their beef and lamb in peak periods of the seasons.  Beef’s peak season is in the summer and fall, and Lamb’s peak season is considered in the spring and the fall.  Due to these differences they change their marketing schemes to meet the consumer demands.  Another marketing technique they have used to promote red meat is by making cell phone apps, there is a SteakMate, Lamb Roast, and Cutschart apps, each designed to help educated and help consumers find new and easy ways to prepare both lamb and beef.  Because these techniques cost money they must find a way to make profits, therefore there is a levy that is charged every time a head of cattle is sold, the seller is charged $5, and for sheep this rate is 1.5% up to $2.  This is charged every time the animal is sold.    70% of Australian beef is exported to other countries.  Their biggest export market is Japan where they export 637 million lbs of beef, and also 469 million lbs to the US.  Most of the beef that is exported to the US is manufactured to hamburgers or ground beef.  Another interesting fact is that Australian producers feed their animals to a lighter carcass weight at around 650 lbs. compared to the US 800 lbs.  There are a lot of other programs that they work on to promote the consumption and production of red meat. 

      After meeting with Meat and Livestock Australia we took a luncheon cruise on the magnificent Sydney Harbor.  The views of the cruise were some of the best we have seen. They served us lunch that included plenty of seafood along with other dishes that are not common in the Midwest.

Luncheon cruise in Sydney Harbor
Sydney Opera House
     Once finishing the cruise we ventured towards the famous Sydney Opera House for a tour and peak inside the building.  Most of us were expecting a very fancy and opulent opera house.  Contrary to this the building was much more plain, with exposed concrete on the inside and plain walls.  The building consisted of very clean lines of architecture with lots of glass.  The man who designed the building worked very hard to get the unique building finished but it wasn’t finished until 10 years after he finished.  He went home and never returned to see the final product that he designed.  We were able to see both of the large rooms, one for classical music that held 2,500 people, and the other for ballet and opera that held around 1,500 people.  Tickets ranged from $30-300 per person.  The tour guide told us that it was a rare opportunity to see both of the rooms on the tour!

Sydney Opera House interior

            We finished the tour and did some shopping.  We walked back to the hotel and went to find some food.  Thanks to a very friendly Irish lady we were directed to a pub “bar” and grill with reasonable prices.  We were able to enjoy a hearty meal and prepare for our early morning tomorrow to head off to the capital of Canberra.

Kali and Jackson

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