New steering group set to guide $18b beef Industry on sustainability

New steering group set to guide $18b beef Industry on sustainability

05 February 2016

A steering group, comprising representatives from across the red meat supply chain, has been formed to
develop a framework for sustainable production in Australia’s $18 billion beef industry.

Queensland seedstock cattle producer Prue Bondfield has been named the Chair of the 10‐member Beef
Industry Steering Group, which was appointed by the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) this week.

The RMAC has tasked the steering group with improving transparency across areas of broad‐base
sustainability (including environmental, ethical, social and financial aspects of operations) in the beef

The group will work with stakeholders to identify the key community and industry issues and undertake
a process of determining the most relevant indicators to include in a report which will measure progress
in the future.

This sustainability report will enable communication of the Australian beef industry’s performance
across areas of stakeholder interest in line with the objectives of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020.

RMAC Chairman Ross Keane said Ms Bondfield was well placed to facilitate this critical process.

“Prue is an innovative leader in our industry and is committed to sustainable production not only within
her own operation but also in building the profile of Australia’s beef industry’s credentials,” Mr Keane

“Prue runs a highly successful seedstock business with her husband David and also has a background in
law, project management and extensive committee experience. Importantly, Prue is passionate about
building community trust to secure the future of the industry.”

Mr Keane said this new framework would set in motion a number of red meat industry priorities
outlined in the recently released MISP 2020 on improving transparency, aligning production practices
with community expectations and building trust in the sector.

Ms Bondfield said her team will build on the work already undertaken across the industry in helping to
clarify what sustainable beef production means in Australia.

“The framework will use existing datasets that look at whole of industry, rather than being focused on
establishing an on‐farm system,” Ms Bondfield said.

“It’s critical that the Australian beef industry leads the discussion about exactly what sustainable
production means and how we can measure it successfully to reinforce our industry’s world class

“The Steering Group’s role is to facilitate discussion with industry and the wider community to discover
exactly what indicators are required and how they will be measured. We want to ensure we get the process right and take the necessary time for quality consultation to ensure the framework sets the
foundation for Australian livestock sustainability progress in the future.”

The Industry Steering Group comprises:

  • Prue Bondfield (Chair), Queensland cattle producer and seedstock operator with a background in law and project management.
  • Tom Stockwell, Northern Territory cattle producer and previous DPI manager from Katherine with over 20 years experience with research and extension in northern cattle operations.
  • Tony Hegarty, New South Wales cattle producer with a focus on natural resource management and almost 30 years involvement in the Landcare movement.
  • Pip Job, Over 20 years as a cattle producer and 10 years as the CEO of the Little River Landcare Group. Pip currently leads a new initiative within the NSW Department of Primary Industries creating tools and resources to support farming families and business.
  • Richard Rains, Over 40 years experience promoting and selling Australian beef to the world with a strong understanding of the Australian beef supply chain and what our major customers are requiring.
  • Tess Herbert, Director of a sixth generation cattle business with successful feedlots in Central and Southern NSW and a commitment to animal welfare and innovation in the feedlot sector.
  • Jim Cudmore, Led the review of how the Australian beef industry should promote its sustainability credentials which was the precursor to this group being formed and a former feedlot manager and well respected industry veteran.
  • Mark Inglis, Background in animal husbandry and animal production in a broad range of properties including cattle properties in Western Australia’s Kimberley. In his current role, he has developed a detailed understanding of emerging customer requirements around production practices.
  • Tom McGuire, Tom has been involved in the Australian meat industry since 1997 and has a deep understanding of the Australian beef supply chain and what international customers are requesting the Australian industry to demonstrate in the areas of sustainability.
  • Dr Peter Barnard, Over 30 years experience providing market information to the Australian beef industry and assisting the industry during Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Meat & Livestock Australia will act as a Secretariat for the steering group with assistance from the other
industry service providers.

The steering group will meet for the first time in late February and formally begin the process of
developing an industry‐led framework.