What is the Limestone Coast Red Meat Cluster (LCRMC)?

It’s a Limestone Coast-focused project, funded through PIRSA, which is working in a number of areas to develop a deeper understanding of the region’s red meat industry, build innovation, grow profitability and enhance skills.

Where did LCRMC come from?

The concept arose from the Limestone Coast Economic Development Forum in late 2012 and achieved Round One funding through PIRSA’s Premium Food and Wine Innovation Cluster Program in mid-2014. It is currently operating in Round 2 of the same funding program.

How does it work?

LCRMC is overseen by an industry-wide Strategy Group, with project working groups to implement specific actions. It has contracted a part-time Project Coordinator and a Communications Coordinator.

Naracoorte Lucindale Council administers the grant funding.

Strategy Group members are:

  • Peter Stock, Livestock SA (Chair)
  • Graham Clothier, sheep producer
  • Rusty Crane, Crane Livestock Transport
  • Richard Harvie, PPHS
  • Bryan Hunt, Rabobank
  • Allan Kain, cattle producer
  • Helen Macdonald, Naracoorte Lucindale Council
  • Tiffany Bennett, MacKillop Farm Management Group
  • David Rutley, Thomas Foods International
  • Shaun Watson, Tender Cuts Butchers
  • Michael Wilkes, University of Adelaide

What is LCRMC doing?

Work includes:

  • value chain mapping to identify opportunities and impediments to growth, and developing actions to address these;
  • detailed regional data analysis to demonstrate the Limestone Coast region’s role and strengths in the red meat industry;
  • collaborating with University of Adelaide on research & extension into production issues;
  • reviewing ;
  • examining opportunities to support red meat producers to improve business skills and efficiency; and
  • keeping the wider industry informed of relevant information and inviting input, along with supporting other regional initiatives such as the Limestone Coast Collaborative

What does it aim to achieve?

We aim to achieve growth in the Limestone Coast red meat industry through projects that work towards:

  • enhanced value
  • improved value chain collaboration
  • increased business profitability
  • employment opportunities

The LCRMC is a collaborative platform with resources and linkages to build on industry opportunities and address impediments for the growth of the region’s red meat industry.

The red meat industry is a cornerstone of the Limestone Coast economy, so enhanced value and growth in this industry will have a significant impact region-wide.

Beef, sheep and lamb production account for around one third of the total estimated value of agricultural and forestry production in the Limestone Coast: $320 million out of around $950 million total (Limestone Coast Economic Diversification: Building a more prosperous future report, November 2012, prepared by PIRSA, SELGA, RDALC).

Based on analysis undertaken by PIRSA in 2010, livestock grazing or modified pastures is by far the predominant agricultural activity in the Limestone Coast, with close to two thirds of agricultural land used for this purpose.

The region’s major red meat processors, Teys Australia at Naracoorte and JBS at Bordertown, are significant Limestone Coast employers, along with Thomas Foods International at Murray Bridge. There are also a large number of small meatworks, retail butchers and food service outlets that contribute significantly to the regional economy.

The service sector in the Limestone Coast relies heavily on the red meat industry, with services such as merchandise, engineering, livestock agency, veterinary, nutrition, transport, agronomy, training and financing working in the red meat field.

In light of buoyant prices, strong markets and positive attitudes to the future, the time is ripe to explore innovative options for the industry by building links between industry sectors with the aim of growing value for all.