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Meat, wool and dairy

​​​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ has a key role in promoting more profitable, competitive and sustainable food and agriculture industries, such as the important meat, wool and dairy industries.

The meat and livestock industries produce and process meat products and live animals for domestic and export markets. Australia is one of the largest exporters of beef, mutton and lamb in the world, trade which is very valuable to its economy.

Beef cattle production is spread throughout the country, and carried out under varied conditions. Mutton and lamb production is often undertaken with wool production.

While red meat is a top agricultural export earner, there is growing interest in other meat product such as pork, game such as deer, goat and buffalo. Goat meat production is growing.

Wool production is a very common activity on Australian farms. In 2014-15 around 77 million sheep were shorn, producing 428 million kilograms of greasy wool. The value of wool produced in Australia for 2014-15 was $2.6 billion.

The dairy industry is also one of our biggest agriculture producers and Australia is a major exporter, one of the top dairy producers in the world. In recent years the export of live dairy cattle has been finding new markets, mainly in China. Australia’s dairy industry is highly regarded for its efficient production systems and product and systems innovation.

The department works with the meat, dairy and wool industries to improve their trading opportunities. Australia’s farmers benefit from the scientific advice and economic research findings it delivers and from the policies and programs it develops that help improve business, risk and resource management, and the development of innovation. The department quarantine services, export inspections and certification maintain our reputation for plant and animal health.

The department supports industry change and adjustment through policy and program development, and the uptake of new and innovative approaches along the value chain that help agriculture industries improve their responsiveness to the ever-changing market.

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