NSW lot feeder and farmer Tess Herbert will chair the seven-member group of business leaders from across the beef value chain, including grass- and grain-fed production, processing, marketing and live export.
Independent Chair of RMAC, Don Mackay, made the announcement at Red Meat 2018 in Canberra today and says the Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the role was competitive.
“It’s great to see grassroots support for the project that shores up the longevity and prosperity of the Australian beef industry,” Mr Mackay says.
“By defining sustainable beef production and tracking performance each year, the Framework helps to protect our market access and ensure we remain in the driver’s seat on issues that impact our industry.”
Mr Mackay says Mrs Herbert is well known within industry and has demonstrated her leadership and strategic skills within her own business and as President of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association.
Mrs Herbert and her husband Andrew operate two feedlots with a combined 12,500-head capacity: Gundamain at Eugowra and Ladysmith at Wagga Wagga, both in NSW. Their business also includes fat lambs, wool growing, breeding Angus cattle, cropping, and hay and silage production.
Mrs Herbert is a passionate advocate of the Australian beef industry and agriculture more broadly and says she is excited to be part of a whole-of-industry project to define and track its sustainable practices.
“We cannot take Australia’s reputation for producing high-quality beef for granted. Consumers, customers, investors and other stakeholders, and even members of the public, increasingly want proof that our product is clean, green and sustainable,” she says.
“The Framework helps provide proof we’re meeting the promise that our animals are cared for and that our product is safe, nutritious and consistently high quality.”
Mrs Herbert has thanked previous SSG members, including outgoing Chair Bryce Camm, and says she looks forward to building on the great work they’ve done to establish the Framework, collect data, report on industry performance and prioritise industry focus through genuine consultation with beef industry stakeholders.
The SSG chaired by Mrs Herbert will be responsible for progressing the Framework, including addressing data gaps; refining some sustainability indicators; delivering the next Framework Annual Update in May 2019; continuing to work with RMAC and advise on related sustainability matters; and more.