Meat & Livestock News

Cattle Australia’s Initiative for National Land Management and Biodiversity Standards in Beef Production

Fresh red meat and butchery workers working in the background.

Cattle Australia has announced its commitment to establishing a national framework for land management and biodiversity in Australian beef production. This initiative, aimed at aligning with international reporting requirements, follows a recent gathering of over 50 industry leaders in Rockhampton.

Dr Chris Parker, CEO of Cattle Australia, emphasised the need for a clear, evidence-based approach to defining deforestation and biodiversity, tailored to the unique Australian landscape. He noted that Australia’s ancient landscapes, with their distinct soils, plants, animals, and ecological systems, require region-specific indicators for global reporting.

Acknowledging the history of innovation in land management among Australia’s 40,000 grass fed cattle producers, Dr Parker highlighted the sector’s commitment to evolving practices based on scientific advancements.

The framework will utilise extensive research from Australia’s diverse bioregions, as well as the Australian Government’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Tool (MERIT), to develop a nationally and globally accepted definition of deforestation for the Australian context. This definition will be instrumental in creating a voluntary, market-driven sustainability standard for environmental stewardship, enhancing traceability systems.

With the increasing importance of verified ecological credentials, driven by over 6,000 global companies aligned with the Science Based Target initiative, Cattle Australia aims to provide greater transparency and traceability in the beef supply chain.

This initiative is crucial, considering that 70% of Australia’s beef is exported globally. The goal is to foster consumer confidence and meet international Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting requirements.

Dr Parker envisions a framework that not only protects and enhances Australia’s unique environment but also supports efficient, resilient beef businesses and thriving rural communities. This science-based framework will be pivotal for the sustainable growth of the Australian beef industry.

Cattle Australia anticipates the development of this framework by the end of 2024, aligning with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance requirements for 2025.