The meat sector was Victoria's most valuable agricultural export industry in 2013-14, valued at A$2.3 billion. Beef (fresh or frozen) was the highest value export, making up 44 per cent of total meat exports, with sheep meat contributing 38 per cent of the total. Victoria is Australia's second largest meat exporter.1
Beef: In 2012-13, there were 15,252 agricultural businesses carrying 2.4 million beef cattle, representing 9 per cent of the national beef herd. Victoria is home to some of Australia's most premium pasture-fed beef. In 2013-14 Victoria's total beef exports were worth over A$1 billion, accounting for 14 per cent of total Australian beef exports.2 It is Victoria's most geographically extensive industry.
Sheep: In 2012-13, there were 10,716 farms that recorded some form of sheep production on their properties. There is a strong focus on the production of sheep meat, although wool and live exports are also important sectors.3
Lamb: The Victorian prime lamb industry produces high quality, naturally grown lamb products for domestic and export markets. Victoria accounts for over 40 per cent of national lamb production. The value of Victorian lamb exports was close to A$634 million in 2013-14.4
Chicken: In 2013-14, Victoria produced 243,000 tonnes of chicken meat, accounting for around 22 per cent of Australia's 1,084,000 tonnes of chicken meat production. It exported three percent.5 Consumer demand is expected to remain high as chicken meat prices will continue to be substantially lower than prices of most alternative meats.
Other livestock: The gross value of pig slaughterings with Victorian output in 2012-13 was worth A$185.4 million. Victorian goat exports increased from A$3.4 million in 1997 to more than A$96 million in 2014, with the major market being the US.6 The estimated gross value of production for the 'other livestock' industries, including goats, donkeys, buffaloes, deer, alpaca and horses is considered small.7
World-class biosecurity, food safety and regulatory systems
The meat supply chain is backed strong local research, advanced infrastructure, government support and by high food safety standards. We apply strict international and national standards to premium meat products. For example, the National Livestock Identification Scheme enables beef, sheep and goats to be identified and tracked from their property of birth to slaughter.
Regulatory agencies work with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, the certifying authority for exported food.
1. State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
5. Dept. Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Chicken Industry Profile, Dec 2014
6. Dept. Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources , Pig, Goat and Deer Industry Profile, Dec 2014