Beef not most volatile input

Producer's perspective: David Hill was one of the speakers at the recent Australian Lot Feeders' Association conference, SmartBeef 2017, held at the University of New England, Armidale. Photo: Stephanie van Eyk
Producer's perspective: David Hill was one of the speakers at the recent Australian Lot Feeders' Association conference, SmartBeef 2017, held at the University of New England, Armidale. Photo: Stephanie van Eyk

Central Queensland beef producer and Cattle Council of Australia board member David Hill is the current focus for an iconic fast-food chain's advertising campaign.

He spoke about the experience at the recent Australian Lot Feeder Association’s conference, SmartBeef 2017, held at the University of New England, Armidale.

"If anyone hasn't seen it, my family is currently the face of the McDonalds ads," he said.

"The reason I was involved [is because] at the processing plant they tell me if you pass a McDonalds’ audit you will pass most of them.

"So when the opportunity came I thought why not?" 

He said representatives from McDonalds have toured the property on a number of occasions and they've witnessed the rebuilding work following devastating floods.

"At the end of March we had 700mm of rain in 10 hours," Mr Hill said. "We are still recovering.

"But I wanted to get them on the ground and show them what we actually do.

"There's a lot of producers in my area that are very passionate about what they do.

"We've taken them (McDonalds representatives) around three times now."

One interesting point Mr Hill raised was that beef was not the fast-food giant's most volatile input.

"A few statistics I've got show 97 million people go to a McDonalds restaurant in the world every day – 27 million in America," Mr Hill told the conference.

"The most volatile input into their business is not beef, it's tomatoes.

"And the one that I really like is if you eat a breakfast patty in Australia it will be made of beef and we are the only country in the world where that happens - everywhere else it's pork. To me that's a good outcome." 

Mr Hill's speech largely focussed on supply chain profitability – a comparison of what feedback systems are currently used, how they are put into practice and what will be available in the future.

"The changes that I belive will improve efficiencies and profitablilty in the supply chain, firstly for me it would be to totally remove the value averaging system," Mr Hill said.

"To not reward any improvement above the average is not conducive to moving the average.

"We have heard the message that value based marketing will deliver outcomes."

This would only be the case if those in the supply chain seeking to deliver above average product were given critical information and credible profit signals to give them confidence they would be rewarded for their efforts.

"Regardless of outcomes, in a move to more objective measures it is imperative that objective carcass measurements are adopted and implemented," Mr Hill said at the conference.