Once again, the puny gains, mendacious progress, and tendentious “victories” of vegangelicists are belied and crushed as soon as we turn from the sole US and its recent decline in meat consumption to look at the overall world picture, and what is happening in the most populated nations in the world. This recent decrease in the US has far more to do with wheat shortages. economics, temporary market fluctuations, and a shift from beef to chicken and fish than with (1) the trumpeted “successes” of vegan “outreach” (still confined to a miniscule white privileged enclave) and (2) “paradigm shifts” in “moral concern” for animals (the result, we are asked to believe, of mainstream welfarist organizations that actually reinforce speciesism and legitimate agribusiness with their collaborationist campaigns for “humane slaughter,” “cruelty-free” meat, and “cage-free” eggs).

The few non-conformists who don’t buy the slick Madison-Avenue advertising propaganda of the vegan-capitalist complex, the handful of critical thinkers and political vegans who question the religious groupthink of the global vegan movement, and who look beyond the parochial boundaries of the US to analyze the GLOBAL picture will find the same pattern in country after country.

This pattern reveals the metastasizing growth of corporate domination, neoliberal capitalism, and state-military power; the burgeoning human population (now topping 7 billion), species extinction, ecological devastation in every natural system; and expanding middle classes with rapacioius consumer appetites. These dynamics inevitably involve a HUGE SPIKE in worldwide meat production accompanied by the universalization of agribusiness. The magnitude of th eglobal animal-industrial complex completely dwarfs the relatively infinitesmal and insignificant decline in meat conswmption one now finds in the US, and at any rate could easily climb to record proportions in years to come.

Indonesia is the world’s forth most populous nation. After Brazil, it contains the world’s highest level of biodiversity, but this is not greatly imperiled, along with the thick forest cover that once carpeted 60 percent of the nation. It is, of course, is the same country burning down its dense forests and decimating its orangutans and other wildlife to havervest palm oil.

Apparently, for the powers that dominate Indonesia, setting forests aflame and bulldozing its biodiversity into oblivion is not senseless destruction or profitable enough. For on the shouldering ruins of torched rainforests and orangutan bodies they want to move in cattle as the ecological coup de grace, although most of these tortured and doomed souls will live in factory farms.

The projected TEN FOLD INCREASE in beef consumption for Indonesia’s rapidly expanding middle class is made possible with an ominous partnership with Australia to exponentially increase the supply of beef through breeder cattle. This omnicidal insanity is all couched in terms of progress and innovative “market trade” and — as if not perverse enough — Indonesian “self-sufficiency, and “food security.”

It is these type of global developments that belies vegan triumphalism and shows veganangelicistst o be among the greatest prevarications, denialists, and obstructions in the world. The incredibly reactionary nature of deliberate falsification and distortion of global reality, in order to claim the most fantastic illusory “victories,” is made clear in the classic work of Sun Tzu (544-496 BCE),  Art of War:

“To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating our enemy is provided by the enemy itself. If we know the enemy and know our self we need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If we know our self, but not the enemy, for every victory gained we will also suffer a defeat. If we know neither the enemy nor our self, we will succumb in every battle.”

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Stock and Land

Colin Bettles

30 Mar, 2012

INDONESIA’S moves towards greater beef self-sufficiency will be countered by opportunities linked to a potential 10-fold increase in beef consumption driven by an exploding middle class population, according to Cattle Council of Australia CEO David Inall.

Mr Inall was part of a high level trade delegation that visited Indonesia for two days last week headed by Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson and Federal Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, for talks with their Indonesian government and industry counterparts.

Speaking to media during the visit, Dr Emerson dismissed suggestions the trade delegation was only looking to address issues with Indonesia’s steep reductions in cattle import numbers from Australia in recent months.

Import permit numbers dropped from 745,000 head in 2009 to 520,000 in 2010 but hit 400,000 last year, in the wake of the Labor government’s snap live export suspension.

Last year’s permits were issued at an even 125,000 a quarter but this year the estimated number is 283,000 – with 60,000 issued in the first quarter and 125,000 last week, for the second stanza.

In announcing the reduced numbers late last year, it was also revealed Indonesia’s Agriculture Department had handed over responsibility for issuing the import permits, to the Trade Ministry.

Mr Inall said that made discussions with Indonesia’s Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan – who he praised and compared to US President Barack Obama in terms of his articulate and charismatic nature – more important, on last week’s visit.

He said the 125,000 permit number announced last week, meant more than half the projected import numbers had been announced for 2012 – but the outlook for the rest of the year remains relatively positive.

“We just have to take each quarter as it comes and work on the expectation of 283,000 head for the year,” he said.

“The Indonesians are feeling comfortable with the fact they can change those volumes each quarter but there are certainly positive signs around.

“We’re not sure what the numbers will be for the final two quarters but Ramadan is coming up in four months time so unsurprisingly the Indonesians will want healthy feeder cattle numbers leading up to that period.”

Dr Emerson praised Gita Wirjawan’s “aspiration” to increase Indonesian beef consumption from two kilos to 20 kilos.

He said that represented a 10-fold increase in the industry, “which is almost beyond the imagination of both Indonesia and Australia”.

“We’re really here to talk about those dimensions and how to open up those opportunities and to work with our friends in Indonesia on capacity-building and to create this sense that this is a big, rapidly expanding market,” he said.

“And…as important as next quarter’s quota is, we really want to develop those sorts of understandings and chart a course so that we can be in a position to meet those increases in demand.”

Mr Inall said he asked the Indonesian Trade Minister what his country wanted from Australia and where the trade relationship was heading, with beef and cattle.

He said the Minister’s response was that breeding cattle will be the “game changer” for Indonesia, while adding that feeder cattle imported from Australia, had previously been seen as relatively unlimited.

 

Mr Inall said it was “very clear” that the relationship between Australia and Indonesia as now going to change and “as the customer we have to understand that”.

However, he said his view was one off a strong future that existed for a blend of breeder and feeder cattle supplies, along with boxed beef.

But breeding cattle will play an increasing role and importance in the trade relationship, he said.

“Exactly how that transpires in terms of Indonesian government policies is yet to be played out,” he said.

“But we need to be at the table having the discussion with the Indonesians which is what we have now.

“We made some excellent contacts on this trip – developed some new ones and reaffirmed old ones.

“For the Australian cattle industry to be standing along side senior government ministers like Dr Emerson and Senator Ludwig really delivered a message to the Indonesians that we are committed to doing business with them.”

Mr Inall said it may be a shock but not a surprise for the Australian cattle industry to hear about Indonesia’s plans to decrease its feeder cattle import numbers and increase breeder cattle.

He said Indonesia has had a long-standing ambition and policies around breeding cattle while moving towards greater beef self-sufficiency.

Mr Inall said the combined trade relationship around feeder and breeder cattle had been around for a long time, despite recent changes.

But recent moves like adopting 350kgs weight limits and lowering projected import permit numbers meant the Indonesians were now making “very clear” communications about the priorities of their self-sufficiency drive.

“We understand they have an ambition around beef self-sufficiency to increase their food security ambitions and meet these targets,” he said.

“But I still believe there’s a future around feeder cattle exports to Indonesia from Australia in a food security context [!], for that country, while building a stronger relationship in breeder cattle.”

Mr Inall said the Indonesian government understood a key constraint around higher breeding cattle volumes was the lack of availability in large tracts of land, to breed, feed and run the cattle numbers required, to feed 240 million people; especially if beef consumption increases 10-fold.

“The most important thing for Australia is that we are at the table having this debate with Indonesia and involved in important trade discussions like this,” he said.

Mr Inall said Dr Emerson and Senator Ludwig acquitted themselves well during trade discussions last week, making positive moves on behalf of Australian cattle producers and the industry.

He said in each meeting, he saw no residual hang-ups from the past 12-months, with any ongoing tensions over the snap trade suspension, seemingly dissolved.

“It was all very, very positive and I can’t stress that enough,” he said.

“There’s no doubt Indonesia presents a great trade opportunity for Australia and vice versa and they are looking to work with Australia to deliver quality cattle as their near northern neighbour.

“As always, there was a lot of mention, in discussions everywhere we went, about the high quality of our cattle, which is still a big priority in our relationship with Indonesia.

“We are neighbours; hence we’re not going anywhere and neither are they.

“They understand we need a strong relationship around cattle trade and that our producers need to be viable and require stable market signals to run their businesses efficiently.

“They are certainly saying the right things – I’ve been to Indonesia many times working on cattle issues in the past 10 years and this was one of the best visits I’ve had and the most constructive.”

Mr Inall said the Indonesians had expressed a high degree of support and clarity around the new closed loop, supply chain regulations implemented by the Australian government after last year’s trade suspension, to make animal welfare a priority, particularly at the point of slaughter.

He said there was a positive response to, and management of, the recent batch of video footage obtained in Indonesian abattoirs of alleged animal cruelty, that’s currently under investigation by the Federal Agriculture Department to identify if any breaches occurred within the new supply chain system.

The video footage was discussed informally on last week’s trip, he said, with praise given for how both countries handled the issue, showing the new system was working and helping to safeguard animal welfare.

Overall, Mr Inall said the relationship with Indonesia was “not strained and has only strengthened”.

“They understand our concerns over the reduced import permits numbers but Indonesia is an important customer of ours and they are at an important growth phase in their future,” he said.

“If we’re constructive and work with them there will be opportunities ahead which is better than making demands to increase permit numbers; that’s not the way we do business.”

Further Resources

Indonesian demand for beef  high

COLIN BETTLES

31 Mar, 2012

NATIONAL Farmers Federation President Jock Laurie says Indonesia – with its bustling and developing population of 240 million people – is expected to maintain high demand for Australian agricultural exports in years ahead, especially the nation’s expanding hunger for beef-fed protein. …

He acknowledged there had been ongoing concerns – and more rebuilding was required – following the Australian government’s abrupt suspension of the live cattle trade to Indonesia last June.

But the two countries are now looking to work together constructively to explore future trade opportunities and bolster potential market capacity, he said. …

Mr Laurie said the trade mission proved to be a successful relationship building exercise between the two neighbouring countries.

“There is enormous untapped potential,” he said.

“Indonesia is a large part of the Asian success story.

“Its economy has grown at 5 percent per annum for a decade.

“And if Indonesia continues to grow at the rate used in the IMF’s latest five-year forecast, its economy will roughly double in size over the next decade.

“This means that from half the size of Australia’s economy just three years ago, Indonesia’s economy will match Australia’s by around 2025.

“By 2030, Indonesia could very well have a place in the Top 10 economies in the world.

“If you are contemplating investing in Indonesia, you are making the right decision.

“It is a giant of an economy, with the fourth-largest population on earth.

“Australia’s nearest neighbour; right here on our doorstep.

“And how exciting is that for our two countries, the two biggest economies in the Southeast Asian region?

“Australia has no better friend or partner in the Asian region than Indonesia.

Indonesian beef gift an act of ‘contempt’

COLIN BETTLES

30 Mar, 2012

SHADOW Federal Agriculture Minister John Cobb says the Gillard government’s gift of $20 million to improve beef production in Indonesia goes against the interests of Australian cattle producers and treats the nation’s farmers with “utter contempt”.

The $20 million was announced while senior government ministers visited Jakarta last week for critical trade talks around Indonesia’s moves to import more breeder cattle and less feeder cattle numbers, amid a drive towards greater beef self-sufficiency.

Mr Cobb said with Australia’s northern cattle producers reeling from the social, economic, environmental and animal welfare crisis cause by Labor’s knee-jerk over-reaction in banning live cattle exports to Indonesia last June, the $20m announcement “comes as a kick in the guts while they are on their knees”.

“That $20 million could be going to help our cattle producers; instead this mob is sending big dollars to Jakarta to bolster Indonesia’s domestic beef production to the detriment of our exporters,” he said. ….

Beef on the rise into Asia

BY BRAD COOPER

28 Mar, 2012

RABOBANK’S head of food and agribusiness research in Asia will tell Northern Territory cattlemen this week that the live export trade has a long and secure future in Indonesia despite the challenges of the last 12 months.

Singapore based John Baker was in Brisbane on Tuesday ahead of his appearance at the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association annual conference in Darwin on Friday, where he will feature as the keynote speaker.

Acknowledging in an exclusive with Fairfax Agricultural Media the difficulties northern beef producers have faced in recent times, Mr Baker said the industry deserved to hear a message that was upbeat.

“When you look at Australia’s competitive standing in the world from a cost standpoint, we do extremely well globally as one of the lowest cost producers into Asia. Northern Australia has a lot to be proud of and they do it well,” he said.

“We’re right on the doorstep of Indonesia, they know we are a cost competitive and reliable supplier and that we are a logical trading partner. From the people I talk to it is a sustainable trade and it will endure.” …..

Rising Indonesia beef market must remain open

Peter Alford, Jakarta correspondent, The Australian

June 14, 2011

INDIAN buffaloes are one reason why the Australian cattle industry should fear its biggest offshore market will not fully recover after the Gillard government lifts its ban on live exports to Indonesia. Although India is little-recognised as a beef producer outside the trade, partly because of its Hindu majority’s aversion to eating cows, its buffalo meat exports are a large and growing cheap supply of meat for South-East Asia. …….

 
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