The first-ever Australian Beef Sustainability Framework report has been released by the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), and welcomed by industry.
The framework, released last week and developed following consultation between the RMAC’s Sustainability Steering Group industry and the wider community, was created to meet the changing expectations of customers and stakeholders by defining what sustainable beef production means in Australian production systems.
Twenty-three priority areas were identified in the framework in the areas of animal health and wellbeing, profitability, productivity and market access, land management, climate change, waste, production of safe and nutritious food, workforce capacity, and the health, safety and wellbeing of people in the industry.
Independent Chair of RMAC Don Mackay said the framework was about future-proofing for prosperity for the whole Australian beef value chain.
“We recognise that consumers and the community have changing expectations of our industry; and we want to satisfy the community – and ourselves – that we are doing everything possible to ensure the longevity of the businesses, the families and the communities the Australian beef industry represents,” he said.
“We must be vigilant and able to respond to any risks or opportunities as an industry. That is why the launch of the framework is accompanied with the clear, forward strategy and a robust governance framework that is focused on driving action and delivering outcomes for Australian beef businesses from the farm, to feedlots to processors.”
WAFarmers Livestock Council President David Slade said the framework would be a great resource for industry.
“The framework most definitely supports priorities in the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 for improving transparency in the industry, determining community expectations and aligning those with industry practices, and developing trust throughout the red meat sector and its consumers,” he said.
“For our members and other producers, value will be delivered at the grassroots level by providing clear evidence of the nation’s status as a global leader in sustainable beef production and, in turn, ensuring continued market access.
“It also allows consumers to clearly see the priorities for the industry – given the magnitude of information being presented to consumers about where their food comes from and how animals are being treated, this is particularly important when it comes to getting public confidence back into industry.”
The framework is a living document; all members of the industry and community are encouraged to provide feedback online or by contacting the Project Secretariat, Pip Band, by emailing [email protected].
WAFarmers welcomes further development of the framework.