A record crowd of more than 700 attended last week’s Rural Press Club of Queensland’s annual Ekka Breakfast, organised by the SAS Group’s event management team.
The large audience of agribusiness and farm organisation leaders, primary producers, politicians, government officials, and journalists gathered at the RNA to hear the guest speaker, David Foote, deliver the 2017 Malcolm McCosker Memorial Address.
David is the managing director of Australian Country Choice, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated beef supply chains, and the major supplier of beef to Coles supermarkets. Headquartered in Brisbane, the company employs over 1,400 staff across its Queensland operations incorporating cattle breeding, backgrounding, fodder cropping, feedlotting, primary processing and exporting.
Each year at its Ekka breakfast, the Rural Press Club honours the memory of past President and legendary Queensland Country Life journalist and editor, Malcolm McCosker AO, who’s Ekka news coverage was highly anticipated for almost 50 years.
This year, David reminded the Ekka audience of Malcolm’s ‘by-line of influence and authority’ when he discussed the challenges for modern day rural industry leaders, and the contribution of today’s visionaries to Australian agriculture’s success in an era of unparalleled change.
David also took the opportunity to promote the critical role of agriculture in Australia’s economy with a very interesting collection of facts, which highlights the industry’s exposure to global trade.
Each year, Australia’s 135,000 farmers:
- produce 93% of our domestic food needs
- generate 13% of Australia’s total export revenue
- provide jobs to 13% of the FTE workforce
- create $150 billion worth of finished product
- operate 100 million hectares of our landscape and
- each Aussie farmer feeds 600 people - 150 at home and 450 overseas
The Rural Press Club’s Ekka Breakfast has established its place as the largest annual gathering of its type in Queensland, and has become a ‘must attend’ Ekka event.
The SAS Group partnered with the Club in January this year to manage its events, membership, sponsorship and marketing.