2015 Conference Summary

ampc platinum sponsor


The AMIC 2015 Meat Industry Conference was well supported by government and industry with registration attendance totalling around 320. All feedback received to-date has been very positive. Some of the details were:


The Maersk Distinguished Australian of the Year Award – Steve Martyn (National Director-Processing, Australian Meat Industry Council) for his 40 years of service to the meat industry, 17 of which have been with AMC/AMIC.

The Atron Australian Meat Industry Woman in Processing Leadership Award – This inaugural award was introduced to recognise the significant role women play in the meat processing sector. There were 9 finalists in the award reflecting the significant talent already active in the meat processing sector. The inaugural winner was Angelique Raspin, Group Quality Assurance Manager for Australian Lamb Company in Colac).

The Meat Processors Ltd/MLA Future Leaders Award –This award
seeks to identify the next generation of industry leaders within AMIC who have participated in building industry programs for the future. The winner was Paul Wallace, NH Foods Australia P/L and wins an all-expenses paid visit to a key export market to work with Meat & Livestock Australia on better understanding and refining MLA’s market development program in that region and bringing that knowledge back to the industry taskforce process in Australia.

The Intralox Excellence in Industry Award – presented to a supply chain partner who has delivered a sustained and strong contribution to the meat industry over an extended period of time. In respect of his pioneering spirit over the past 30 years the award went to Brian Carey from Food Processing Equipment.

The Special Industry Recognition Award – This award recognises people who have distinguished themselves as leaders and innovators over many years from outside of the processing sector. This year’s unanimous winner was Dr Peter Barnard, recognising his 29 years of service through the Australian Meat & Live‑stock Corporation and MLA.

Golf Tournament – Once again shipping legend Jim Fitzgerald co-ordinated the day. The winning team was Aaron Squires (Argus); Matthew Langer (Orora); Eric Boxma (Intralox) and James Wardle (Port of Brisbane). Former industry notable Don Ferguson (Smorgon & AMH) and John Runge (Kilcoy Pastoral) also played the tournament.

Fishing Tournament (The Phil Sadler Trophy) (sponsored by AMIC). The judges’ decision was a tie between Brett Slade (Oasis Exports P/L) and Rob Cattley (Fujitsu) – Two nice fish both “officially” 16mm long.


ABC Country Hour operated live from the Conference (Thur 17). Radio interviews included David Larkin, Steve Martyn, Ben Thomas (MLA), David McKinna (Principal at McKinna et al) and Roger Fletcher (Fletcher International). Beef Central and Fairfax Rural Media were also present and reported extensively from the Conference.


AMIC has finalised permission from each of the speakers to have their papers posted on the AMIC website.

TRADE EXHIBITION The 27 exhibition booths were sold-out well in advance of the Conference with new entrants including: CST Wastewater Solutions, Castricum’s Meat Training Services, Matthews Australasia, Quantum Power Ltd, SMC Pneumatics, Kentmaster, FoodCap and new AMIC member Habasit Australia. Our thanks to all 27 exhibitors. The Trade Exhibition was the centre of most functions and activities including the Welcome Event and morning, lunch and afternoon teas. A full list of exhibitors and their details is on the webpage.


19 sponsors supported the AMIC Conference this year with the platinum sponsor being the Australian Meat Processor Corporation Ltd (AMPC). Hamburg Süd was a usual strong and dependable supporter which we appreciate greatly. Other main sponsors included Meat Processors Ltd, ANZ, MLA, Visy Board, Orora and Maersk Line. Other sponsors included Port of Brisbane, Wiley, Wirra Wirra, the Port of Philadelphia, Intralox, Energetics, Atron Enterprises, Food Processing Equipment (FPE), Marfret and the Agro Merchants Group. We thank all of our 19 sponsors for their great support for the AMIC Conference.


  • APC Chairman’s Address – The APC Chairman, David Larkin, opened the Conference with the Chairman’s Address. A full copy of this document, sponsored by the Port of Philadelphia, is on the AMIC website.
  • AMIC’s Strength is its Members – Lachie Hart, as a member of the AMIC Conference Committee, presented a montage of 54 photos of AMIC members as the strength behind the organisation.
  • Kate Mills, former editor for Business Review Weekly for over a decade, gave a powerful presentation on the changing face of employment trends in Australia and how the workforce will change over the next 30 or 40 years and what implications this will have for the Australian meat processing sector.
  • Message from the Minister for Trade & Investment, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP – Trade Minister Robb was unable to attend the Conference due to commitments that week in Canberra. He sent a strong message about trade and free trade agreements that was delivered to Conference delegates. A copy of that is attached.

China – The Challenges and Opportunities – this was a scintillating Q&A session with 6 industry specialists on stage to answer questions on the market including Roger Fletcher (Fletcher International); Greg Read (Department of Agriculture); Tim Sullivan (Sanger International); David Larkin (Atron Enterprises); Rob Williams (AMPC Trade Director and former Agri Counsellor Beijing); and Michael Whitehead, head of Agribusiness Insights (ANZ).

  • A Message from the China Meat Association – Included in this session was a video message from Mr Li Shuilong, Executive President of the China Meat Association along with subtitles endorsing the MoU between our two organisations and the great opportunities ahead for both industries.
  • Martin Kneebone (Freshlogic) and David McKinna (McKinna et al) – These two presentations were particularly well received by attendees and the discussion around brands and the domestic and international retail market was intriguing and captivating.
  • Roger Horwood (Associate, Energetics) – Roger gave a very interesting discussion on energy costs and future technology changes, a must read for anyone who has a KPI in this sector of the meat industry.
  • Securing the Future – This was a wide ranging Q&A session involving 6 industry specialists on stage to answer a range of questions on the key issues impacting the future. Ben Thomas (Market Information Manager, MLA) gave a 10 minute presentation on the key factors that will influence both the beef and sheepmeat market going forward. Other panel participants included David Larkin, Chair of the Australian Processor Council; Dr Peter Barnard, MISP‑4 Economist and Consultant and former MLA General Manager; Roger Fletcher (Fletcher International); Michael Matthewson (Wiley) and David Lind (CEO of the AMPC). This session went for an hour but could have gone for much longer given the list of questions still to be asked.


AMIC supported two charities during the Conference. The first of these was Foodbank Australia and included the announcement of an inaugural sheepmeat program in support of Foodbank. It was launched by Roger Fletcher (Fletcher International) and Brian James (Thomas Foods International) and they invited all other sheepmeat processors to join them. The second charity was for the Jodi Lee Foundation and bowel cancer, a foundation passionately supported by Food Processing Equipment. AMIC committed a $300 donation to the Foundation out of Conference profits as starting point for Conference attendees to support the foundation.


Thank you to everyone who attended the Conference and to our sponsors, exhibitors, session chairmen and speakers. We particularly would like to thank Lachlan Bowtell who did an excellent job as Master of Ceremonies both for the Conference program proper as well as the Gala Dinner. We hope the Conference was a quality presentation that reflected the professionalism of the organisation and the great industry we all work in. Any queries contact the Executive.