Beef industry groups move to set record straight on ABC’s Fight for Planet ‘A’

Beef Central, 27/08/2020

Australia’s beef industry has united to set the record straight after its record on land clearing and environmental sustainability was misrepresented in the Fight for Planet ‘A’: Our Climate Challenge series on the ABC.

Cattle Council President, Tony Hegarty said claims around deforestation and land clearing in the beef industry were based on outdated and inaccurate data.

“The show claimed clearing scrub and weeds as part of land management was ‘deforestation’, Mr Hegarty said.

“There was no effort to separate high-value woodland from scrub.

“Our industry is putting its shoulder to the wheel to be part of the solution, and this was largely ignored.

“I appreciate what this show was trying to do, but you’ve got to get it right.

“We all agree there are climate and biodiversity challenges ahead, but facts matter and discarding the facts will have consequences for the planet and wrongly represents the red meat industry and its work on sustainability.”

Tess Herbert, from the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework said Australia’s beef industry has shown a solid commitment to improving environmental outcomes.

Tess Herbert

“The most recent data shows tree cover has increased,” Ms Herbert said.

“The Australian Beef Sustainability Framework measures this using cutting-edge technology by Cibo Labs and CSIRO, using publicly available data from Geoscience Australia.

“Also, 65% of all beef country is managed for better environmental outcomes, which is equivalent to over 360 million hectares.

“This includes managing weeds and feral predators to protect both livestock and native animals.”

Meat & Livestock Australia Managing Director Jason Strong said the red meat industry is being proactive and taking a lead in sustainability, which wasn’t reflected in the show.

“The Australian red meat industry has already reduced emissions by 57% since the baseline year of 2005 and is committed to improving productivity and sustainable on-farm practices.

“We have set a world-leading and ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030, which sends a clear message to government and consumers that we are on the front foot and taking action.

“Research shows that consumers trust red meat producers – and our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment for future farming generations can only help to build that trust further,” Mr Strong said.

National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson said Australian farmers were taking the lead in protecting the nation’s forests.

“Our members are set to work with the Commonwealth to improve biodiversity,” Ms Simson said.

“We have broad support to develop a market for biophysical assets such as biodiversity and sustainable farming systems and are working closely with government to develop and deliver contemporary thinking in this area.

“The National Farmers’ Federation has also supported the goal, with certain conditions, of the Australian economy being net zero within 30 years.

“We agree much work is needed to meet our climate challenge, and we are working together to deliver multicommodity outcomes for farmers.”

More information: 

Source: Joint CCA, MLA, ASBF, NFF media release


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  1. ROBERT PAYNE, 28/08/2020

    Are we meant to be carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050. I am confused on date. Will still need a lot more base level start point support.

  2. Mike Introvigne, 27/08/2020

    What do you expect from the ABC. This once proud public institution has become a rabble with misguided green lefty aspirations that should not be accepted from our public broadcaster. The ABC current affairs flagship, The 7.30 Report is clear proof of this followed closely by The Drum and not to mention Four Corners and Q & A.
    It is high time Ita pulled them into line and brought them back to being a deliverer of truth and unbiased current affairs reporting.

  3. Peter Dunn, 27/08/2020

    Regarding the ABC program “fight for Planet A” , for about the last two decades now, bias, prejudice and misrepresentation of the facts has rarely prevented the ABC from presenting green/left propaganda in the guise of factual reporting. Such blatant and intentional dishonesty is bad enough, but when it is produced by a publicly funded organisation with a charter specifying that it must provide balanced reporting, it is totally unacceptable and organisationally unsustainable.
    The Board and the CEO of the ABC occupy chairs on the deck of the Titanic. The iceberg is overdue.

  4. Peter Bishop, 27/08/2020

    It is great to see our relevant industry bodies identifying the truth in some of these generally vague media portrayals of our industry. There is so much uncertainty out there in the scientific community in relation to measuring methane in agriculture. Our industry representatives should investigate the truth about the flaws of measurung methane and the flaws in some of the Carbon abatement schemes that are out there. Then get this aired on TV, and suprise thier audience for a change! Why is it always a reactionary media release or an industry audit with these types of things?

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