On the surface, it might seem like the market is booming.
After all, it is the third-largest meat market in the world, according to a report by the UN.
But according to Derek Fisher, the man behind one of the largest meat processors in the country, the market for Australian bush meats has gone from small, regional and marginal to very large.
The market, which is growing at an annual rate of 40 per cent in the last 10 years, is dominated by two major meat processing companies: Mullet Fish and Derek Fisher’s company, Red Meat.
“It’s like if you were buying a steak at a supermarket and they had a steak from a different region or from a faraway country,” Mr Fisher said.
“You can see it on the shelf.”
For the past decade, the meat industry has struggled with an increasingly competitive environment.
For the first time in decades, the number of meat processing plants has grown rapidly, and has been growing more slowly than the market.
The world’s largest meat processor, Red Mince, was acquired by the multinational meat processor Archer Daniels Midland in 2012.
In addition to Mullet Fishing, Red Men, and Derek Fish, the three biggest players in the market have an average of 25 processors and 10,000 employees, according the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“The markets are changing, and the way we look at them is changing too,” Mr Fish said.
He said there had been a shift in the way the market was structured over the past few years.
“We’ve got the world’s most advanced technology now, but in terms of the meat, the most important thing for us is our customer,” he said.
That customer is the Australian public.
Mullet Fisher’s meat is exported to countries like China, South Africa and India.
As a result, demand for Australian beef has gone up in the past five years, and it is expected to grow again over the next 10 years.
That’s because Australia has seen a spike in demand for beef from the Middle East.
“Our customers are getting more adventurous in that market,” Mr Fowler said.
The Middle East is the largest beef market in Asia, and as a result demand for meat from there is up.
“And so that has really pushed the price of meat up over the last five years,” Mr Brown said.
Mullett Fisher has expanded its footprint in the Middle Eastern markets.
“But it’s a niche market,” he explained.
“In terms of being able to sell the meat locally, they can’t really compete.”
And there are also other factors that are pushing up prices.
The cost of the land in the desert region, which includes Australia, has risen.
Mr Fisher is also a big proponent of the technology used to produce Australian beef, using it in a range of dishes, from burgers to hotdogs.
“What we’re trying to do is develop technologies to be able to do that better,” he added.
“That means more efficient processing, and more sustainable meat production.”
The Australian Bureau and the Australian Food and Agriculture Federation have come together to launch the Australia Beef Market Strategy.
The strategy is intended to drive demand and innovation in the Australian beef industry, but there are some concerns about what that will mean for farmers and ranchers in Australia.
“When it comes to Australian beef farmers and cattle producers, we want to make sure we’re ensuring that our future prosperity is built on sustainable production practices and sustainable management,” Ms Brown said, referring to the strategy’s three main objectives.
She said she expected that the strategy would be a “huge opportunity” for farmers.