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'Private Selection' guarantees best beef for consumers.

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DAFF04/008WT - 30 January 2004

'Private Selection' guarantees best beef for consumers

Gympie-based meat processor Nolan Meats had set a new standard for Australian beef consumers with the launch of its top shelf beef brand, Private Selection, Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said today.

Mr Truss, who was launching the company's new brand in Brisbane, said that, through its innovative practices, Nolan Meats remained at the forefront of global and domestic trends in food production.

"Private Selection is the crowning achievement of a family-owned Queensland company that has become one of Australia's leading meat processors, employing more than 250 people," he said.

"Nolan Meats has reached this point because it has adopted a policy of pursuing world's best practice, of doing things the smart way through vertical integration and value adding - and because it has been innovative."

Mr Truss said Australia exported more than 65 per cent of its total beef production to about 100 countries, and the exports were vital to our economic well-being.

"But let's not forget the remaining third of our beef production is sold to the domestic market," he said.

"Given Australia is our single largest beef market, industry must respond to our consumer requirements with the same commitment as it does to our overseas customers.

"Through the beef industry's Meat Standards Australia scheme, Nolan Meats can guarantee its product will deliver consistency, tenderness and palatability to an increasingly discerning consumer."

Mr Truss said the Australian Government viewed innovation as the key to continued industry prosperity. It was keen to see industry embrace innovative concepts and was helping industry to undertake innovative projects.

"We provided $450 million last year through rural research and development corporations to improve the productivity of rural industries," he said. "We have committed $20 million through the New Industries Development Program to help Australian agribusinesses turn new ideas into competitive, profitable and sustainable commercial ventures."

Mr Truss said the Government had allocated $102 million over five years for the National Food Industry Strategy, an industry-led initiative that is the blueprint for growth in the Australian food industry. A major initiative of the Strategy is the Food Innovation Grants scheme that helps food

businesses, including processors like Nolan Meats, with up to $1.5 million in individual grants to share the risks associated with innovation and R&D.

Further media inquiries:

Minister Truss' office: Kathy Tricolas - 02 6277 7520 or 0412 929 191