A NEW online platform providing red meat consumers with an open and trusted source of information about the production of beef, sheep and goat meat in Australia was launched during the Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane last night.
Meat & Livestock Australia’s new online platform Good Meat aims to demonstrate how Australian red meat is produced sustainably, in high welfare systems and is an important part of a healthy balanced diet.
The timing of the launch is significant, during a period of elevated discussion about the industry’s engagement with the broader community about issues like animal welfare and sustainability.
The Good Meat platform is also home to a range of educational resources including study guides, classroom posters, lesson and activity sheets, virtual farm visits, digital lessons and online board games.
MLA managing director Richard Norton said while the vast majority of consumers in metropolitan centres across Australia were confident in the practices of the red meat industry, Good Meat spoke directly to those who are curious and seeking more information about production systems.
“The consumer is king in our industry and we understand that community trust is integral to a sustainable and prosperous industry,” Mr Norton said.
“Good Meat provides an engaging platform for red meat producers to share their story and demonstrate their commitment to best practice and continual improvement.
Through a transparent approach, Good Meat informs consumers and the wider community about the great work of Australian red meat producers and the quality product they produce. It emphasises the high standards already in practice while reinforcing the industry’s on-going commitment to animal welfare and responsible environment management.
Recent research for MLA shows that only about one in five meat eaters have a good understanding of the Australian beef and lamb industry, and there are now almost 20 percent fewer Australians from urban centres visiting cattle or sheep farms annually compared to eight years ago.
However, the same research revealed consumers’ appetite to learn more about food production, with more than 50 percent interested in how Australian farmers produce beef and lamb.
“Good Meat is built on MLA’s consumer insights and data. It is a direct response to the increasing interest consumers have in the provenance of their food and how it is produced,” Mr Norton said.
“Farmers remain one of the most trusted professions in the community and are best placed to share information about the production of red meat. That is why Good Meat puts Australian red meat producers on centre stage – sharing their stories and values.”
The new education and information resource will also prove an important tool for those producers looking for resources to help share their story, promote what they do, build consumer confidence and challenge misconceptions.
Good Meat forms an integral part of MLA’s domestic market strategy and broader community engagement program, including Australian Beef’s virtual reality Paddock to Plate Story, community events, education and schools program, and producer advocacy development. The project has been developed in consultation with a range of red meat supply chain stakeholders.
“The Australian red meat industry needs to continue to meet the expectations of global customers, by providing evidence that demonstrates our practices meet their needs. Offering data and transparency to customers is key to building trust,” Mr Norton said.