Global wrap – COVID-19 special edition, May 2020

COVID-19 has disrupted global red meat markets like nothing else in recent memory. As the spread of Covid-19 widened to a global scale, Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) international markets team has continued to adapt and respond to ensure our industry and stakeholders remained informed and equipped to continue exports of quality Australian red meat.

The initial priority and focus for MLA’s international markets team was to ensure our communication lines with industry, exporters, brand owners and key stakeholders remained open and strong. This collection and dissemnination of critical in market information and insights from our international networks back to Australia’s red meat industry in a rapid and efficient way continues to be a priority for MLA – particularly as the global situation continues to evolve and change quickly from market to market.

The next priority from the MLA international markets team was evaluating the impact on planned marketing activities across the globe. Trade shows, seminars and other business development activities were cancelled or postponed alongside any activity requiring travel. Some consumer focussed promotional activities such as retail sampling ceased completely, while other activities such as campaign advertising, was amended significantly to ensure the tone and message was right (for example, no outdoor BBQ campaigns). Overall, a significant amount of planned activity has been deferred to the FY21 financial year.

The next and most significant focus has been on what we can do to support Australian brand owners and customers globally with marketing solutions that position Australian red meat positively, and help keep the trade functioning and in many markets, get the trade back on track. MLA’s global response strategy focuses on five key areas:

  1. Food hacks: Tips and tricks that help consumers learn more about cooking with red meat.
  2. Trust and integrity: Consumers are gravitating towards brands they trust and foods with nutritional benefits, and therefore reinforcing the quality and nutritional benefits of Australian red meat is paramount.
  3. Digital development: Large gatherings will be prohibited for some time and people are turning to online communications like never before, so MLA will look to online channels for events and seminars, and also work to make more content available to Australian brand owners.
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