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Tackling consumer perceptions at Beef Australia Symposium

Posted on April 16th, 2015

The issues of food safety, consumer trust and the beef industry’s social license to operate will be tackled head on at the Beef Australia Symposium by three of the industry’s most influential global figures.

In a major coup for the event, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Food Safety, Alfred Almanza, and McDonald’s Corporation Senior Director Strategic Sourcing & Sustainability, Gary Johnson, will be flying to Rockhampton to speak at Australia’s national beef industry exposition.

“I feel it is vital that grass roots producers join in the global conversations around beef and the products we are producing. The symposium represents an opportunity to connect with some of the people ultimately influencing our ability to access key markets,” Beef Australia Chairman Blair Angus said.

“The line-up of speakers at the Beef Australia Industry Symposium has been selected with the aim of ensuring Australian beef producers are across the challenges that may lay ahead.

“Equally though, for me, Beef Australia is about developing a two way conversation, allowing producers direct access to global beef users and decision makers. I sincerely hope producers are able to grasp these opportunities at the symposium and seminars, to not only listen, but to share their challenges and be part of the vision for the Australian beef industry.”

The symposium, supported by CQUniversity Australia, will be held on Monday May 4 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

In his presentation Mr Almanza will confront the topic of food safety, including the impacts of product recalls, outbreaks of foodborne illness and changes in international food safety laws.

With today’s consumers expecting to know more about their food, its quality and where it comes from, Mr Johnson will discuss how the beef industry can “close the gap between taste and trust”.

A third US speaker Jeff Simmons, who is the global president of animal health company Elanco, will join the symposium via videolink to discuss how the beef industry can add continue to play a role in feeding a hungry world within its social license to operate.

“Australian producers have shown an agility to adapt to a changing global market place that exceeds that of our competitors,” Mr Angus said.

“Remaining at the forefront of these conversations is vital to ensure that we are able to continue to push for the market access and market advantage that our product warrants.”

ENDS

Media inquiries: Michael Thomson, Cox Inall Communications, 0408 819 666