As a beef industry veterinarian based in the Northern Territory for the last 35 years, I was always curious about our markets, especially the fast growing live cattle markets in South East Asia. My first visit to Asia was in 1979 when I spent some time in Malaysia and began to understand the huge potential for live cattle exports to the region. Over the following 30 odd years I travelled to Asia many times establishing industry contacts in most of the countries in S.E. Asia. I have had a range of roles within the industry during this period, all of which have revolved around our live export trade to Asia. invariably there has been very little reliable and regular information about the conditions of the Asian market to help with planing for the future of the Australian industry.
I have now lived almost permanently in Indonesia for the last 3 years and find myself in a position where I can access the type of information that I always wanted to know. It therefore seemed logical to me that other people in the northern cattle industry might be interested in getting the information that I now have access to.
While I collect a lot of this information personally, I have agents in other parts of Indonesia and S E Asia to assist with the regular collection of market information. I currently have agents in Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam with plans for new agents in Malaysia and China. Naturally I pay these foreign agents for their efforts.
The question then is, how to recover the costs of the production of this report but deliver it to those who I believe need it, but in many cases are in such tight financial circumstances that they may be unable or unwilling to pay for it.
I tried a number of strategies but was unable to sell the report to specific customers so my new strategy is to provide it free to anyone who cares to subscribe and ask for sponsors to assist with the costs. At the moment, my one and only sponsor is the Northern Territory Government and I am very grateful to them for their support. If anyone else would care to assist with sponsorship then there is scope for advertising to appear in return.
As you can see from the time I have been in the industry, I am a very old IT dinosaur so I have only just learned what a blog is, and for those of you who don’t know either, this format is one. It is an amazing method of providing information to anyone who is interested without bothering those who aren’t. It’s easy to subscribe to, easy to send to others who you might think will be interested and also easy to unsubscribe.
So far, I have produced 5 reports beginning in December 2013. As you will see, if you read them all (they are attached in the Archive), they are a work in progress, continually evolving with this blog format as the latest and most dramatic change in production style.