A few words with our CEO, Dr Matt McDonagh
As CEO of the AWA, our annual conference is the key opportunity that I get to meet and discuss with you the issues that are important to you. We have a very exciting program of speakers locked in that will cover the full spectrum of Wagyu production following the theme of Plate to Paddock thinking, to ensure that the quality specifications demanded by the consumer of our premium product are able to be met.
I am very excited to hear from our Keynote Speaker, Mr Don Mackay, who is a wagyu industry stalwart from his days with AACo and Rangers Valley. Don is now the Chair of the Australian Red Meat Advisory Council and will provide his thoughts on the direction and opportunities for the Australian Wagyu industry point of view.
In line with our focus on Plate to Paddock thinking, we are also looking at discovering the eating quality attributes across the Wagyu carcase. There is no doubt that alternate cuts from a well-marbled Wagyu carcase perform incredibly well and that international markets fully understand how to make the most of this.
It’s an exciting line-up of speakers and one I’m sure everyone will draw valuable information to take back to their own operations.
I would encourage everyone who is attending the conference to take part in the welcome function dinner on Wednesday night and the gala dinner on Thursday. Two of our conference sponsors, Pardoo Beef and Mort & Co will be providing Wagyu for these events from their own labels. The Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre (MECC) has created a wonderful menu to showcase wagyu and its versatility. I sincerely thank Pardoo Beef Corporation and Mort & Co for their generous support.
The final afternoon of the #WagyuEdge Conference will include an opportunity to taste the champions of our industry brands. We have had a phenomenal response to our Wagyu Branded Beef Competition this year, with the bar raised substantially by our entrants who have provided some truly exceptional pieces of meat to our judges. On Friday, we’ll wrap up the conference and witness the Elite Wagyu Sale, which is a highlight for many in the industry.
I would like to thank the Mackay regional council and the MECC for hosting us this year. Mackay has truly come to the party by organising ‘Wagyu Week’ for the community to share in the interest created by the Wagyu Edge conference and I encourage all our guests to show their support by attending some of the events such as cooking demonstrations and the Wood Street festival organised by the city as part of Wagyu Week.
To round out the conference and to start heading toward Rockhampton for Beef 2018, the Association has organised a tour program to visit some of the leading wagyu producers in the region, including Pandanus, Ten Mile Station, VickiVale and Strathdale.
These tours have been organised to give visitors an insight into Wagyu operations. The tour has created so much interest that it is now fully booked – a testament to the interest generated by these wagyu operations.
On behalf of the Australian Wagyu Association, I look forward to meeting our members and delegates and learning the very latest industry developments and trust that the event is a rewarding one for everyone.
Tickets are still available for the conference, find out more here.