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Community programs

MLA’s community programs help foster the prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry and are designed to demonstrate that our producers are ethical and responsible custodians of livestock, land and natural resources.

Each program highlights how Australia sets the standard for world-class animal health, welfare, biosecurity and production practices. They also demonstrate leadership in sustainability and deliver on community expectations in the areas of land, water, biodiversity and climate variability.

Our objective:

To ensure the community recognise the vital role our industry plays in food production and trust us to deliver high value, high quality products and feel good about eating red meat.

Community programs are delivered across four streams under the Australian Good Meat brand.

  1. Community education – providing trusted information and targeted communications through a dedicated online platform (goodmeat.com.au) and its associated social media channels to inform consumers about the production of red meat and livestock in Australia.
  2. Community engagement – strategic partnerships with targeted community events to inform consumers about the provenance of Australian red meat, enhance community confidence in the industry and promote red meat consumption by sharing red meat’s versatility.
  3. School education – engaging schools and teachers through the development of teaching resources on red meat and livestock production which align with the national curriculum.
  4. Advocacy - producer advocacy underpins the community programs strategy. Red meat producers and industry advocates participate in all three communication streams to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the Australian red meat and livestock industry.

Community education

Australian Good Meat platform

Australian Good Meat platform

The Australian Good Meat platform provides important information about cattle, sheep and goat production in Australia, focusing primarily on animal welfare, protecting the environment, as well as health and nutrition. It informs consumers about the great work of Australian red meat producers and the high quality product they produce. Australian Good Meat allows red meat producers to share their story and demonstrate their commitment to best practice and continual improvement.

Community engagement

The Paddock to Plate Story in virtual reality

The Paddock to Plate Story in virtual reality

The Australian Beef and Lamb Paddock to Plate experience shares with consumers the story of Australian red meat production in immersive 360-degree virtual reality. Viewers are taken on a journey from the farm right through to the restaurant, learning how Australia produces the greatest beef and lamb in the world.

MLA has shared the experience with over 100,000 members of the community since launch in 2017.

View the experience for yourself – download the virtual reality app at the Apple and Google stores.

Food festivals and royal shows

Food festivals and royal shows

Another suite of community programs delivering face-to-face community engagement is the sponsorship of key food-focused events nationwide. These events give MLA the opportunity to engage influential chefs and local producers in cooking masterclass forums. This provides thousands of curious consumers with a better understanding of Australian red meat production, the different cuts of meat and how best to cook them.

Some sponsorships include: Taste of Sydney, Western Australia Gourmet Escape, Tasting Australia in SA, Brisbane Regional Flavours, Taste of Tasmania and Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

School education

Collaborating with a variety of education experts, we help to improve teachers and students’ understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry in an interactive way to align with the Australian school curriculum. This is extremely important work, especially at a time where there is a disconnect between agriculture and those living in metropolitan Australia.

All of our resources are free and available on goodmeat.com.au/education

Help promote the use of our online learning resources for parents, teachers and students at home and in the classroom. Download this flyer and share with your local networks, friends and family.

Virtual classrooms

MLA’s curriculum-linked virtual classrooms are one of the most effective and valuable resources in our portfolio of community programs. They’re free and interactive, enabling students to engage with Australian red meat producers live on video stream. Students can see and hear what producers do on-farm while taking part in educational activities and quizzes, and can even interact with other schools.

In Term 3 2020, MLA will launch a new module in the Virtual Classroom program as part of the ‘Australian Beef the Greatest’ brand sponsorship of the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo Games to promote Australian beef’s nutritional benefits and its ability to fuel Australian athletes.

The new module Be Your Greatest Virtual Classroom, offers students around Australia the opportunity to chat with Paralympic and Olympic athletes who are also ambassadors for Australian Beef to:

  • gain insight into their journey to greatness, including their background story and connection to Australian Beef and agriculture
  • learn how they incorporate healthy eating into their active lifestyle with Australian Beef.

Given the current global situation created by COVID-19 and isolation requirements, the livestreamed excursions and virtual classrooms have become even more valuable, allowing students to continue learning about the red meat and livestock industry from the classroom and from home.

Learn more about taking part in our virtual classrooms at mlavirtualexcursions.com

Your Expert Classroom video series

In term 2 2020 MLA sponsored the ‘Your Expert Classroom’ series, a new curriculum-linked program for students aged 5–14 years. The series includes four parts: a series of educational videos, in-home activities, a livestream video Q&A with a producer and an online marketing program targeting parents and teachers.

Teachers will be able to adapt these activities to suit online classrooms as well as physical classrooms.

So far, 246 classes have participated in the series, which covered topics such as:

  • Smart agriculture: Doug McNicholl, MLA’s Program Manager – Sustainability and CN30, spoke to students about how Australian red meat producers use technology to enhance sustainability and protect the environment.
  • Eat right, move well: Nutrition expert and dietician Peta Carige spoke with students about why a healthy diet is important and highlighted why protein – particularly red meat – is needed to maintain a healthy active lifestyle.
  • A healthy start: Peta Carige also shared tips on how to build and maintain a healthy diet with the inclusion of red meat including its benefits, how much we need and how often we need it.

Greener pastures: To increase awareness that Australian red meat producers are responsible stewards of the land, producer Charlie Arnott spoke to students about the importance of maintaining biodiversity on his farm in Boorowa, NSW.

Get Kids Cooking

Get Kids Cooking is a program that teaches children ages 5–13 how to cook and appreciate red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet. These cooking classes are held at schools and key community events such as royal shows. A food presenter leads the class through a step-by-step process as they prepare selected recipes where beef, lamb or goat is the hero of the dish. Participants taste the recipes cooked and hear from producers about sustainable beef and lamb production.

Due to COVID-19, many Royal Shows around the country – where children would usually participate in interactive cooking classes – were cancelled. To continue the engagement with the Royal Show audiences in lieu of the face-to-face events, MLA has worked with ‘Get Kids Cooking’ to develop a fun and interactive cooking video. The video guides kids through a step-by-step recipe to create mini beef sliders at home. Not only do kids and their parents enjoy a delicious meaty meal but they also gain a greater understanding of Australian red meat’s health benefits.

Online resources

The Good Meat education hub hosts a variety of resources available for download by teachers and students from years K–10. These include:

Careers expos and conferences

Members of the MLA Community team attend various careers expo events, industry events and teacher-facing conferences. Here we encourage and promote careers within the red meat industry and aid teachers with the resources they need to talk about the red meat industry in schools.

Advocacy

Facilitating producers’ and industry advocates’ participation in each of the above communication streams builds awareness and provides an understanding and appreciation of the Australian red meat and livestock industry.

MLA’s advocacy program aims to promote a collaborative, united livestock sector by providing opportunities for red meat producers and industry stakeholders to represent the red meat industry through positive and effective community engagement.

It’s important for the industry to provide trusted, authentic and targeted information about red meat production to consumers who are becoming more interested in how their food is produced. Producer advocates sharing ‘the story of red meat’ creates an authentic dialogue where producers debunk many of the ‘untruths’ which surround the red meat livestock industry.

To learn more visit ‘promoting the industry’.

Got a question about MLA’s community programs?

Contact:

Fiona Thompson
MLA Community and Industry Engagement Manager
E: fthompson@mla.com.au

Georgia Goode
MLA Community Engagement Officer
E: ggoode@mla.com.au