The Australian Beef Sustainability Framework has backed Meat & Livestock Australia’s commitment yesterday that the red meat industry should aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
“The prospect that we could be carbon-neutral by 2030 is an incredibility exciting one in terms of demonstrating our economic and environmental credentials to Australia and the world,” said ABSF sustainability steering group chair, Bryce Camm.
“Reducing emissions is one of the key priorities of the ABSF, and work is already in progress by a large number of producers and most processors,” said Mr Camm, a fourth-generation Queensland grain and grassfed beef producer.
“The framework is about ensuring we are meeting customer, investor and other stakeholder expectations and these groups have clearly communicated to industry that carbon is one of their top priorities.”
In September, following widespread consultation, the ABSF’s Sustainability Steering Group selected managing climate change risk as one of six high-priority areas in sustainable beef production.
In the framework, ‘managing climate change risk’ covers GHGs, fertiliser application and fossil fuel use (both on-farm and in processing) and carbon capture and sequestration.
In addition to managing climate risk, the other high-priority areas in the framework are:
- Animal husbandry techniques
- Profitability across the value chain
- Balance of tree and grass cover
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- Health and safety of people in the industry
Independent chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council Don Mackay said yesterday that the red meat industry had reduced emissions within the national greenhouse inventory from 20pc to 13pc since 2005.
“We are proud to have significantly contributed to the Australian Federal Government 2030 targets under the Paris agreement. But, as ever, more needs to be done when it comes to policy settings that drive real value for red meat businesses,” he told stakeholders.
The ABSF is an initiative of RMAC aimed at demonstrating to the community the commitment to a thriving Australian beef industry that strives to continuously improve the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment.