‘Target 100’ to showcase industry sustainability

Beef Central, 26/03/2012

Click on the above image to watch the Target 100 launch video

A major new initiative designed to communicate the Australian cattle and sheep industry’s commitment to sustainability will be launched today.

The “Target 100” program has been established to publicly showcase the many ways in which Australian cattle and sheep producers are working to improve the sustainability of their operations.

Meat and Livestock Australia is coordinating the program on behalf of the industry's policy setting representative groups including the Cattle Council of Australia, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, the Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Australian Meat Industry Council.

MLA describes Target 100 as “a commitment by cattle and sheep producers to deliver sustainable production by 2020 through continued investment in progressive research to improve sustainable practices.”

The ‘100’ in the title refers to 100 development and extension programs that cover water, biodiversity, climate variability, soil and groundcover, emissions, social and economic issues. They are highlighted on the dedicated website

The platform will provide consumers and the urban community with the opportunity to learn more about how their beef and lamb is produced.

It will also enable them to meet Australian cattle and sheep producers via social media and to join in open discussions with opinion leaders, environmentalists and leading chefs or participate in monthly live forums. 

Dozens of case studies detailing how producers across Australia are focusing on improving the sustainability of their enterprises can already be found on the Target 100 website, and more producers are being urged to add their stories to the website as well. 

Queensland cattle producer Stuart BarrettQueensland cattle producer Stuart Barrett said Target 100 was a way to bridge the urban-rural divide and demonstrate how practical ideas and research is delivering sustainable farming.

“We’d love to get everyone out to a farm to show them what we are doing first hand, but that’s not practical. 

“That’s why we’ve developed Target 100 as a way to encourage Australians to jump online and ask a farmer a question or just take a look at what we are doing with the videos, photos and case studies on the website.

“It’s about the industry inviting Australians to find out more about what we do to produce nutritious food for the world’s growing population in the most sustainable way possible.

“Sustainability isn’t something new for us.  Many families like mine have been doing this for five generations and over this time we’ve adapted our practices as new research has highlighted ways to improve our practices.”

High-profile Head Chef of Sydney restaurant, Becasse, Justin North, who is well-known for his commitment to sustainability, says that Target 100 is a great step toward advancing sustainable practices and giving Australians a better appreciation of the origin of their produce.

“Australian cattle and sheep farmers are caretakers of nearly half Australia’s landmass and their profitability depends upon the health of the land. They are natural environmentalists who want to leave the land in better condition for future generations. It’s great to see that they are sharing their stories with the public and encouraging an open conversation,” said Mr North.

An advertising campaign will start on March 31 in major metropolitan newspapers and a 60 second advertisement will be screened in selected cinemas and on Qantas inflight.

Mr Barrett said almost 100 cattle and sheep producers have contributed information for the website, but more are needed.

“The success of Target 100 will ultimately depend on the willingness of producers to get behind it and show our urban population what we are doing every day to produce great quality food in a sustainable way,” Mr Barrett said.

“I’d encourage every cattle and sheep producer to take a look at the website, join in an online forum and most importantly upload information about what you are doing – the more producers we have case studies for the stronger the message.”

Click here to vist the Target 100 website



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