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Meat & Livestock Australia launches Sustainability Impact Report for 2023

14 July 2023

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has launched a new report highlighting the sustainability credentials and achievements of the Australian red meat and livestock industry from the last 12 months.

The Sustainability Impact Report for 2023 has highlighted major industry achievements in sustainability. This includes industry’s ongoing reduction in methane emissions, the release of new tools to help producers manage pasture for productivity and sustainability, and an ongoing commitment to successful integrity systems and biosecurity.

The Sustainability Impact report’s purpose is to highlight MLA’s sustainability focused programs and projects that have achieved significant outcomes over the past 12 months and have supported the industry’s progress in demonstrating its sustainability performance.

MLA’s Managing Director, Jason Strong, explained all of industry’s investments must be evidence-based and scientifically proven and contribute to building the economic, environmental and social capacity of our stakeholders and supply chains.

"As custodians to over half the nation’s land mass, producers are exposed to extreme weather and climate change, so sustainability is at the core of our industry,” Mr Strong said.

“The industry’s commitment to sustainability helps to meet the needs of our customers, consumers and community, and to building trade access and robust markets for our products.”

Sustainability and environment

MLA’s Sustainability Impact Report highlights includes the continued success of the carbon neutral by 2030 program (CN30), where in 2020, the Australian red meat sector reduced carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by 64.8% since the 2005 baseline.

This is a reduction in industry’s proportion of national greenhouse gas emissions from 22% in 2005 to 10.3% in 2020.

In addition, 68.5% of Australian natural resource management regions are achieving above healthy ground cover thresholds, protecting soil health and maintaining ecosystem services.

The Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF) also set the blueprint for the Greenham Beef Sustainability Standard.

The Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF) garnered strong support at its inaugural stakeholder engagement events, the industry forum and external stakeholder consultative committee forum.

Technologies and adoption

MLA’s investment in producer adoption focuses on latest technology and science to increase the uptake of on-farm research and development (R&D) by producers.

The primary focus is ensuring producers follow best practice management across all areas of on-farm management.

Major highlights include the launch of the Digitised greenhouse gas calculator to help producers set up carbon accounts and the launch of the world-first Australian Feedbase Monitor tool, which is supporting more than 1900 producers (covering 2400 farms) with their grazing management decisions.

Biosecurity and animal welfare

In a year that featured concerns around the potential incursion of exotic animal diseases into Australia, MLA developed a series of technologies that strengthen Australian farm biosecurity and ensure transparency.

Importantly, Australia remains free of exotic diseases that affect livestock including foot and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.

MLA is investing in Australia’s first mRNA vaccine, which would enable rapid mass production of a vaccine for lumpy skin disease once registered for use in Australia, should a vaccine be required.

MLA’s subsidiary company Integrity Systems Company (ISC) also released its eNVD Livestock Consignments app this year. The app overcomes connectivity issues by using QR codes to transfer consignment details from producer to transporter, saleyard, feedlot and to the processor, saving time and preventing errors.

“This report highlights the breadth and depth of sustainability investments across MLA’s programs, priorities and projects,” Mr Strong said.

“It tells the story of how MLA’s sustainability programs have delivered significant outcomes and impacts over the last 12 months, especially when it comes to supporting our stakeholders to demonstrate their sustainability credentials.

“The industry can be very proud of its ongoing commitment to sustainability,” Mr Strong said.

Find a full copy of the MLA Sustainability Impact report 2023 here