Beef Australia invites nation’s beef community to connect with global beef industry

Published 22 February 2024

Media Release

Beef Australia is calling for stakeholders across the nation’s beef community to register for its 2024 Handshakes Program, to connect with like-minded domestic and international delegates and promote the Australian beef industry to the world.   

Beef Australia’s Handshakes Program, one of the industry’s exclusive business matching programs’, provides valuable opportunities for Australia’s beef industry to establish global partnerships and gain valuable insights into international markets.

Beef Australia CEO Simon Irwin said it is great to see significant interest in the 2024 program after returning for the first time since 2018.

“Beef Australia’s Handshakes Program is recognised as one of the premier business-to-business networking programs for Australia’s beef community to connect with domestic and international delegates and establish new business partnerships,” Mr Irwin said.

“Due to the COVID pandemic the International Program was on hiatus during Beef2021, so we are excited to be bringing it back in 2024 and facilitating connections between Australia’s beef industry and the global beef marketplace.

“As part of the overarching International Program, the Handshakes Program enables domestic participants to not only meet with other domestic participants, but also engage in face-to-face business matching meetings with global delegates, establishing new business partnerships, and gaining valuable insights into international markets they may be able to tap into.

“I encourage all Australian beef industry stakeholders with an interest in the global marketplace to register for the 2024 Handshakes Program, to gain valuable knowledge of the beef industry on a global scale.”

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said opportunities to collaborate through the Handshakes program will help to secure a profitable, productive and sustainable beef industry for years to come.

“The Albanese Government is proud to be backing Beef2024 through a $6 million commitment, helping industry to grow international and domestic relationships,” Minister Watt said.

“There’s exciting trade opportunities happening at the moment, with Australia’s network of Free Trade Agreements already delivering new and valuable market access for our red meat industry.

“Under the UK-FTA beef exports increased nearly four-fold from $4.2 million to $16.6 million in the third quarter of 2023, compared to the same quarter in 2022 when an FTA was not in place.

“2024 will also see beef tariffs eliminated for exports to the US and China, and drop in Korea, Japan and Canada, further increasing Australia’s competitiveness in these growing markets.”

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the program was a critical part of Beef 2024 for Queensland industry.

“Beef 2024 is an unmissable opportunity to put Queensland beef on show to the world, and our beef stacks up against the world’s best,” Mr Furner said.

“This program connecting our producers to a worldwide network means stronger business relationships, export opportunities and a bigger industry supporting more good jobs for Queenslanders.”

Beef Australia’s International Committee Chair Greg Pankhurst said one of the benefits of being part of the 2024 Handshakes Program is having the opportunity to receive pitch readiness training.

“In 2024, participants in Beef Australia’s Handshakes Program will be given the opportunity to receive complimentary online pitch readiness training by Trade and Investment Queensland, giving them the best possible chance of securing funding, sourcing new clients and building strong business relationships,” Mr Pankhurst said.

“Not only will they gain valuable partnerships with the global beef industry, they will also receive the tools required to successfully build their business.

“The Handshakes Program is all about building a stronger, more sustainable future for beef production and consumption by connecting with our international beef community and understanding what’s important to them.”

AgTrade Chief Executive Officer, Justin Slaughter, participated in Beef Australia’s 2018 Handshakes Program and said the networking opportunities within the program are unmatched.

“The Handshakes Program provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with members of the international beef community, within the social atmosphere of Beef Australia,” Mr Slaughter said.

“Through it, we’ve been able to connect with people we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet, and gain valuable insights on international markets as well as make those valued business connections.”

Registrations for Beef Australia’s 2024 Handshakes Program close at 5pm on Thursday 29th February 2024.

To find out more and register, visit Beef Australia | 2024 Handshakes Program or email Beef Australia at

Beef Australia is proudly presented by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.


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