Australian Beef Industry Sets New Standard for Sustainability
Amid the debate about the environmental impact of beef production one producing nation is actively doing something about it, with Australia’s red meat industry recently announcing a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.
As the 3rd largest exporter of beef in the world and the residence of 3 percent of the global cattle herd, Australia’s initiative could have real impact—and give consumers even more confidence in the quality and integrity of Australian beef.
“What’s exciting about this commitment is that it’s coming from the farmers themselves—not government or NGOs. The farmers see the value, see that it’s achievable, and are ready to get to work to make it happen. That really sets Aussie beef apart on the global stage in terms of sustainability programs,” says Catherine Golding, Business Development Manager, North America, Meat & Livestock Australia.
Operators here in the US who have chosen Aussie grassfed beef for their supply chains are taking notice too:
“We choose Aussie grassfed beef for our clients for lots of reasons—flavor, quality, consistency above all, but the sustainability and animal welfare aspects are increasingly important, too. Aussie beef already has an excellent sustainability story, and this news just validates it further and shows their commitment,” says Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer, Cuisine Solutions.
“Gibson’s is proud to partner with our Aussie beef supplier and deliver Gibson’s Grassfed Australian beef to our customers,” says Daniel Huebschmann, Corporate Executive Chef of Gibson’s Restaurant Group. “Coupled with its unwavering and sustainable quality, the 2030 carbon neutral goal offers validation that we are heading in the right direction and contributing to the welfare of our planet and customers.”
The seemingly audacious goal of carbon-neutral beef production is already being realized by forward-thinking farmers like Bob and Anne Davie of Bimbadeen in Gippsland, Victoria, who have been carbon accounting and measuring greenhouse gas emissions since 2009. Just five years on, after intensive work to improve productivity and sequester more carbon through vegetation, the scales were tipped to net positive—meaning more carbon was put into the soil than greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted.
The Australian Sustainability Framework, the organization making the carbon-neutral declaration, is a representative group of farmers and stakeholders working to define, measure and improve the sustainability of beef production in Australia. Alongside animal welfare, health & safety and other key priority areas, managing climate change risk is a major pillar of the group’s work.