Five sustainability goals that mark a new era for the industry

Five sustainability goals that mark a new era for the industry

July 28 2023

John McKillop, Chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council.

A key development in this year’s Annual Update was the addition of goals for the Australian beef industry following a period of extensive consultation.

John McKillop, chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council, which oversees the ABSF, said it was a natural and essential evolution to meet growing global consumer demand for sustainable practices.

“We must continually improve our production systems, or we risk losing market share to alternative products that claim, and mostly falsely claim, that they have better sustainability credentials than us,” Mr McKillop said at the launch of the Annual Update in Melbourne.

“Consumers don’t just want reports, they want to see goals and targets in place.

“Large customers including Woolworths and McDonalds continue to develop their own sustainability commitments, but they also want to make sure they’re tieing in with our sustainability indexes as well.

“Most importantly, goals will guide our industry in prioritising its energy and investments.”

The Australian beef industry is now committed to following five goals:

  • The Australian beef industry is guided by the five domains of animal welfare. The industry provides all cattle with an environment in which they can thrive in accordance with these domains.
  • By 2030, the Australian beef industry will demonstrate its net positive contribution to nature.
  • The Australian beef industry will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its production and processing sectors by 2030.
  • The value of Australian beef industry products and services doubles from 2020 levels by 2030 resulting in a profitable and resilient industry.
  • The Australian beef industry is trusted, attractive to a diverse workforce, a source of pride and belonging, and makes a positive contribution to the food security of Australian and international communities.

Mr McKillop said the next step was adding targets, which will be developed through a period of consultation.

“Setting goals shows our intent; creating targets shows that we have a plan to get to those goals,” he said.

“Over the next year the industry will prioritise the setting of these targets and will make them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

“We want to be ambitious; we want to be aspirational; and we want to ensure that our beef industry is seen as a world leader not just in the quality of the beef we produce, but in the care of our animals, our environment, our people and our communities, and that is what will underpin the beef business going forward.”

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