A modelling framework for optimising investment for the Australian livestock industry

Rodolfo García-Flores, Andrew Higgins, Di Prestwidge, Stephen McFallan


Despite the scale and importance of the beef industry in the north of Australia, recent political and environmental disruptions have highlighted the vulnerability of the supply chain. Ensuring that the supply chain remains resilient to climatic events as well as to unexpected decisions by the stakeholders will require careful planning and investment in logistics. In this paper, we outline an integrated methodology based on tactical and operational dynamic models, for assessing the effect of changes in the supply chain. Emphasis is on the development of an optimisation model that covers the flow of cattle from properties to agistment farms and feedlots to abattoirs/ports, and the selection of rest areas (spelling yards) along the path. The model selects the optimal location of spelling yards along the road network, subject to budget, site capacity, and service requirements. We show preliminary results for a case study comprising Western Australia and the Northern Territory.


Beef supply chain; Facility location; Network flow optimisation; Maximal covering

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