Meaty change for beef industry

Challenges for the beef industry addressed by NSW Farmers

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The Australian beef industry is getting the chance to show off its credentials through the recently released Australian Beef Sustainability Framework Annual Update.

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The Australian beef industry is getting the chance to show off its credentials through the recently released Australian Beef Sustainability Framework Annual Update. The Framework, introduced in 2017, defines sustainable beef production and tracks industry performance over a series of indicators annually.

So, how did the beef industry perform? The report reveals significant change in pain relief and biosecurity adoption. The number of properties with a documented biosecurity plan has lifted from 25 percent to 90 percent, and there's been an increase in pain relief usage from 15 percent to 21 percent.

The report also reveals an almost 57 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the industry since 2005, while compliance with national chemical residue standards now sits at 99.9 percent.

These changes reflect hard work in the beef industry to meet community expectations, which is reaping dividends for beef's popularity in domestic and overseas markets. Exporting to over 100 countries, Australia was the world's most valuable beef exporter last year, generating $10.8 billion.

Australia's reputation for producing safe and disease-free food is a key component of our success on the global stage. Through measuring the beef industry's 'clean and green' status on a yearly basis, and through providing a central repository for key industry information, the Framework is also a part of this success. In a testament to its success, similar frameworks are under development for the sheep and wool industries.

The Framework's priorities, which were formed in 2016, are set to be reviewed at the end of 2020. In order to reflect what is important to the beef industry, producers and stakeholders are being encouraged to contribute to this review.

NSW Farmers will be hosting an hour-long webinar at 12.30pm on Thursday, 23 July to explore what sustainability means for red meat producers beyond 2020. Attendees will hear from Tess Herbert (Australian Beef Sustainability Framework), Bruce Allworth (Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework), Tony Hegarty (Cattle Council Australia), and Jacob Betros (Meat and Livestock Australia).

- Derek Schoen, Chair of the NSW Farmers Cattle Committee.

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