'The future of Australian agriculture is based upon innovation, flexibility and increasing efficiency. The George Alexander Foundation/ISS Institute Fellowship allowed me to step out of the day-to-day farming operations and travel overseas to develop a fresh vision for a more innovative and flexible marketing avenue for our cattle. Opportunities like this prove that the world is my oyster and opportunities in the industry endless.'
Annabelle Coppin’s vision to introduce mobile commercial abattoirs in remote Australia developed from her genuine passion for rural and regional Australia, particularly within the agribusiness and production sector in northern Australia.
She grew up on a family cattle station in the Pilbara, Western Australia. While still working in the family business, she is also working in the Middle East for the Australian livestock industry.
Annabelle was educated first by her mother through school of the air and then attended boarding school in Perth and Cunderdin, Western Australia. Annabelle then studied a broad range of topics in Australian food production and marketing, including an Australian Nuffield Farming Scholarship studying global agricultural trends and the future direction of the livestock export trade beyond the Australian farm gate.
Despite some previous small scale attempts no mobile abattoirs have successfully operated in Australia approved for commercial sales. The Australian livestock industry in remote regions of the country is challenged by isolation, climatic conditions and labour shortage, all of which prevent development of a permanent processing infrastructure. Permanent abattoir facilities have proven not to be a viable option over the past century.
The aim of Annabelle's GAF Fellowship was to investigate the potential for Mobile Slaughter Units (MSUs) to service remote areas of Australia. The idea is recognised by many across the industry as having potential; however, there was very little formal and specific information available on MSUs operating within Australia.
This Fellowship allowed Annabelle to research and understand all necessary information covering operation, engineering, logistics, marketing, economics and regulations of a MSU, ultimately providing the necessary skills and knowledge to implement a best-practice system in Australia.
Extract from report submitted 2009