TWO stakeholders from opposite ends of the red meat supply chain picked up important awards in the Premier of Queensland’s Sustainability Awards announced in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
Beef processor Teys Australia was honoured for its commitment to helping the environment by winning the overall 2015 awards prize, as well as the Business Eco-efficiency category.
In the Rural Industry category, Bowen, North Queensland beef producers Jamie Gordon and Garlone Moulin from Mt Pleasant Station were recognised for the way they are leading the way in sustainable beef production.
The nation’s second largest meat processer, Teys Australia won the business eco-efficiency category and then was also presented with the Premier’s Award to recognise the company’s outstanding contribution to promoting and advancing sustainability in Queensland.
The environmental benefits to the state from recent Teys investments are stark and wide-ranging. The new waste reduction systems at the company’s Rockhampton and Beenleigh facilities have helped slash CO2 emissions by 72,000 tonnes, the equivalent of removing 23,000 a year off our roads.
Through the use of on-site recycled biogas, natural gas consumption is down more than 30 percent at Beenleigh, while in Rockhampton, the use of biogas has seen coal reductions fall by more than 20pc.
Water consumption at both sites has also been dramatically slashed as the plants adopt more efficient waste water systems.
“Our aim is to use less energy and water in our operations, create a more efficient business and continually strive to do more with less,” said Teys general manager corporate affairs, Tom Maguire.
“This represents an ongoing commitment by Teys to work alongside government and other industry stakeholders to improve our business and markedly reduce our environmental footprint,” he said.
Mr Maguire said the projects were a major part of consolidating the future at the company’s Rockhampton and Beenleigh facilities, which provide more than 1800 jobs to the Queensland community when flow on effects are considered.
Mt Pleasant Station wins rural industry award sustainability award
In another important acknowledgement made during the Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Bowen (coastal North Queensland) beef producers Jamie Gordon and Garlone Moulin, from Mt Pleasant Station received the rural industry category award.
Sponsored by AgForce Queensland, the award recognises the achievements of Queensland producers who have developed a sustainable and profitable agricultural business, while demonstrating improved environmental and on-farm performance.
The couple of undertaken Grazing Best Management Practice (BMP) training and worked tirelessly to ensure their 13,825ha property is managed sustainably.
“We’ve demonstrated that it’s possible to not only stop the decline in pasture and land condition, but actually improve it, while also running a profitable commercial enterprise, and we plan to continue to build on that,” Ms Moulin said.
“The changes we’ve made to our grazing management have and will continue to provide the best level of drought tolerance possible. We believe that continual monitoring of all aspects of the operation ensures our farm business is purpose-driven, not profit-driven.”
The couple have utilised the Grazing BMP program as part of a process of constant re-evaluation at Mt Pleasant, which motivates change across their practices and improves the holding’s drought resilience.
In 2010 Mt Pleasant introduced Nguni (African tropically-adapted Bos Taurus) cattle to their property under the belief that the cattle needed to match their environment, rather than forcing the environment to support cattle that were not suited to it.
“The health of our natural resource base must be managed for maximum performance,” Mr Gordon said. “It’s a cyclical effect – the health of our landscape determines the health of our animals. Our goal is quality food from healthy animals, grown in a healthy environment to feed our community.”
The family are now marketing some of their Nguni meat products direct to the consumer and have improved their on-farm outcomes by doubling their gross margin per animal and increasing their carrying capacity by 35 percent.
Grazing BMP industry coordinator Michael Taylor said the award was an excellent recognition for Jamie and Garlone as leaders in sustainable grazing.
“Mt Pleasant Station shows how changes in grazing management practices can change the condition of the landscape, and contribute to increased drought resilience,” Mr Taylor said.
“Not only is it a great result for their property, but it’s also a great result for graziers. It’s a demonstration that beef producers are doing the right thing, and committed to being good stewards of their land.”