As of Jan. 1, the Australian checkoff, or cattle transaction levy (CTL), jumped to $5/head sold, up from the previous $3.50. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) says the extra $1.50 will fund new marketing initiatives and programs for beef, both domestically and abroad.

Domestically, the industry aims to boost consumption of Australian beef. Internationally, it seeks to better differentiate its products on quality, integrity and supply consistency, while building customer loyalty.

  • In Japan, its largest customer, Australia will increase its efforts to protect its recent gains in the frozen and chilled markets, while pursuing longer-term growth prospects. It also intends to launch a Premium Australian Beef brand.

  • In the U.S., the focus is maintaining its frozen volumes and helping its exporters secure sustainable chilled volumes.

  • In Korea, Australia's third-largest market, it will protect its frozen and chilled volumes, while positioning Australia for success as the chilled market develops.

  • In addition, MLA says it will work to create opportunities for live exports to compete against low-priced beef from South America and India, particularly in Southeast Asia, and position Australia as a reputable supplier.