Meat & Livestock Australia Top Executives Visit Tohoku to Continue Support for Local Beef Industry
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Meat & Livestock Australia Top Executives Visit Tohoku to Continue Support for Local Beef Industry - JCN Newswire
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Meat & Livestock Australia Top Executives Visit Tohoku to Continue Support for Local Beef Industry
 
MLA ongoing "Together with Japan" relief effort provides local farmers with fourth round of hay and hosts BBQ for local watch patrol

 Meat & Livestock Australia Top Executives Visit Tohoku to Continue Support for Local Beef Industry
Tokyo, Sept 16, 2011 - (JCN Newswire) - Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Chairman Don Heatley, new Deputy Chair Rob Anderson and new Managing Director Scott Hansen visited Japan from MLA Sydney headquarters to demonstrate MLA's ongoing support for the Japanese beef industry in recovering from the 11 March earthquake and its aftermath. The inaugural visit to Japan for newly-appointed Anderson and Hansen underscores the importance of Japan to the Australian beef industry.

MLA has been actively supporting reconstruction in the Tohoku earthquake hit zone through its "Together with Japan" campaign, which kicked off with an MLA-hosted visit to Sydney by three Tohoku cattle producers, who helped launch the initiative at a fund-raising barbecue on Sydney Harbour - raising AUD $ 250,000 in financial support for the affected region.

Heatley, Anderson, Hansen and MLA Japan Regional Manager Melanie Brock continued the initiative in visiting farms, schools and local communities in Tohoku over 13 and 14 September to show their support.

During earlier relief visits to the region, local Tohoku cattle producers had expressed to MLA that what they need most is hay and MLA responded with three deliveries of Australian hay to the region. The visiting executives continued in this support effort by providing a fourth shipment of 24 tons (or 960 bales) of hay to Fukushima cattle producers, delivered through JA Soma.

The executives also met with local government representatives and visited an agricultural high school from which students have been selected to take part in a knowledge exchange program with the Australian beef industry. Five students and a local producers will travel to Australia with MLA 23 to 26 September. The students will meet their Australian counterparts, visit a farm and take part in an Australian Wagyu Association event.

In Iitate-mura, which is located within the nuclear evacuation zone, MLA also hosted an Aussie Beef barbecue and served 140 meals for the neighbourhood watch patrol formed by local residents.

Don Heatley said on his return to Australia yesterday, "I was immensely proud to be representing the Australian beef industry as the hay arrived in Soma this week to be shared around the local cattle producers. You can only imagine how hard it is for the victims to deal with what they have been through and how to move on. I was honoured to be in Japan talking to these producers, playing a small part in the massive effort required to rebuild."

MLA Japan Regional Manager Melanie Brock commented, "Visiting the impacted region once again has strengthened our determination to continue to provide every possible support for our farming colleagues in the disaster-hit areas. We are committed to the 'Together with Japan' program, to helping the Japanese beef industry by responding to the needs of farmers through these difficult times."

The three executives launched their visit to Japan with a 12 September Australia-Japan trade seminar at the Australian Embassy for approximately eighty Japanese meat trade representatives, hosted by MLA and with a welcoming address by new Australian Ambassador to Japan Bruce Miller and a presentation on the long standing ties between Australia and Japan by Deputy Head of Mission Brendon Hammer. On the day of the gathering, the MLA executives also met with Japanese government officials, including senior Diet members.

Australian Ambassador to Japan Bruce Miller said, "As Ambassador to Japan, I congratulate MLA for the strong support shown to the Japanese people and the beef industry and the ongoing commitment to the reconstruction of Japan. The strength of the Australia-Japan relationship is epitomised in the friendships borne of 'Together with Japan'."

About MLA's "Together with Japan":

The "Together with Japan" project is a Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) initiative supported by the Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Lot Feeders Association, Australian Meat Industry Council and Australia's beef producers and processors.

It was launched on Saturday 14 May, on Sydney Harbour at a celebrity BBQ, in the presence of the Ambassador of Japan to Australia Shigekazu Sato, Australian Ambassador designate to Japan Bruce Miller, former Wallabies Captain John Eales, Meat & Livestock Australia Chairman Don Heatley, Meat & Livestock Australia Regional Manager Japan Melanie Brock and members of various peak councils such as the Cattle Council of Australia and the Australian Meat Industry Council), together with celebrity chefs from the Sydney area.

Three farmers from Tohoku, Ms. Mutsuko Ozawa, Mr. Shin Yamada and Mr. Hiroshi Sano, travelled to Australia for the launch of the program.

The launch raised more than AUD $ 250,000 in financial support for the affected region, to go towards reconstruction projects focused on the Japanese beef industry, including scholarship support.

Contact Details:

Melanie Brock, MLA Regional Manager, Japan +81 80 5671 7425
Kreab Gavin Anderson Japan +81 3 5404 0640



Sept 16, 2011
From the Japan Corporate News Network
http://www.japancorp.net
Topic: General Announcement
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