Work to develop a sustainability framework for Australian beef production is now underway according to the steering group recently formed to tackle the task.
The group issued a media release this morning stating that it has used its first meeting to focus on defining sustainability in the Australian context and prioritising relevant issues.
The group said its attention is now directed towards developing indicators to measure progress in these areas against the framework, which will be presented for broad consultation.
From April to July 2016 the group says it will work with producers, lot-feeders, processors and live exporters to review the key issues and undertake a process of determining the most relevant performance indicators to include in a framework.
Industry Steering Group Chair Prue Bondfield said the group would consult with industry stakeholders about sustainability broadly, covering environmental, ethical, social and financial aspects of operations in the beef industry.
“It is critical the Australian beef industry leads the discussion about exactly what sustainable production means and how we can measure it successfully to reinforce our industry’s world class credentials,” Ms Bondfield said in a media statement.
“We want to ensure we get the process right and take the necessary time for quality consultation to ensure the framework sets the foundation for Australian livestock sustainability progress in the future.”
The views of stakeholders from outside the beef industry, including consumers, retailers, regulators and special interest groups, about the content of a draft framework will be sought during August to October 2016.
The publication of the beef industry’s first sustainability report, based on the framework, is proposed for March 2017.
The report will enable communication of the Australian beef industry’s performance across areas of stakeholder interest in line with the objectives of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020 (MISP 2020).
Red Meat Advisory Council Chairman Ross Keane said the framework would support priorities in the MISP 2020 for improving transparency, aligning production practices with community expectations and building trust in the red meat sector.
- Industry organisations that wish to be consulted during the development of the framework can contact the Secretariat assisting the Steering Group, Pip Band, at Meat & Livestock Australia on firstname.lastname@example.org