New report highlights Australia’s world-class beef industry

AgForce has welcomed the latest report from the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF), which shines the spotlight on a beef industry “at the top of its game.”

The 2021 update reveals that the Australian cattle industry is a world leader when it comes to sustainable vegetation management – an achievement that producers, consumers, and investors can all be proud of.

With net zero deforestation over the past decade as a result of effective management practices, and many producers managing vegetation and supporting grassland and forest habitat, Australia’s forest and grazing footprint continues to be well balanced with sensitive environmental areas protected.

What’s more, despite herd rebuild, figures show the Australian beef industry has halved its CO2 e emissions since 2005, recording a reduction of 51.46% in 2018.

AgForce Cattle Board President Will Wilson said the industry had much to celebrate, particularly given the challenges of recent years.

He said: “Circumstances for producers are never ideal, but in 2020 we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, export bans, drought, floods and fires.

“Despite all this, however, cattle producers excelled, and as this latest report shows, we have proven to be an essential service worth investing in. Our beef industry is indeed at the top of its game.”

Driven by industry and led by a Sustainability Steering Group (SSG), the ABSF was developed to meet the changing expectations of customers, consumers, and investors, while identifying opportunities for industry improvement.

The latest update was announced this week at Beef 2021 in Rockhampton, and also highlighted:

  • Regular pain relief usage for cattle has risen from 21% to 30%.
  • Awareness of Animal Welfare Standards for cattle has risen to 97.3% from 73%.
  • Producers rated their global life satisfaction at 79.45 out of 100, indicating an increase in quality of life from previous years.

Mr Wilson said the report continued to get better every year, however, in 2022 a shake-up was needed.

“The priorities and indicators of this report constantly need to be reworked to best reflect the changes in industry performance, and to line up with consumer perspectives,” he said.

“There needs to be more investment in credible data collection and metrics, and increased producer and industry engagement.

“In the future, we would like to see greater focus on Total Farm Productivity and the positive role grassland plays in biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

“AgForce is committed to ongoing improvements. It’s our way of showcasing the beef industry and sharing positive stories with our communities.

“We look forward to working with the Sustainability Steering Group in the year ahead and continuing to focus on the positives this great industry has to offer.”

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