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Harvest Road Group Carbon Neutral supply chains 2025

One in four consumers are willing to pay 15% more for carbon neutral beef.

Project start date: 29 June 2020
Project end date: 14 May 2022
Publication date: 13 April 2022
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (1.4 MB)


This report provides a supply chain emission intensity, market review insights and net emission reduction plan for the HRG supply chain. HRG is Western Australia’s largest beef processor, currently operating an extensive supply chain that includes pastoral properties (stations), backgrounding, finishing, and a meat processing plant (Harvey Beef), all located in Western Australia. HRG has established a goal for positive climate action within the organisation and the supply chain, are working for carbon neutrality ahead of industry targets, and supports the industry to achieve their CN30 goal. This report provides a supply chain emission intensity, market review insights and a net emission reduction plan to help guide the changes required to achieve HRG’s carbon neutral targets.


• Determine the supply chain carbon footprint and opportunities to develop carbon neutral beef production.
• Identify demand driven carbon neutral product opportunities via a comprehensive research study and stakeholder interviews.
• The outputs of the project will include a carbon footprint and net emissions reduction strategy report, and a market insights report (from market research).

Key findings

This study presents the first large scale baselining and emission reduction plan for a beef supply chain in Australia, to the author’s knowledge. The study provided a clear view of the emissions profiles and emission reduction opportunities of a large-scale supply chain in Western Australia, with relevance to the broader Australian beef industry; particularly relating to current market insights and the program of work required through research, extension and development to achieve current industry emissions goals.

• Beef herd management improvements, such as improved weaning and growth rates, reduced mortality, and expansion of grain feeding are expected to achieve ongoing, incremental improvements in the emissions intensity profile of the supply chain, in this case leading to an improvement of 5.3% to overall supply chain emissions intensity. Opportunities are greatest for the northern industry, where cattle performance is more constrained and the opportunities for improvement are greater. This will be necessary to reduce emissions, particularly if the industry is to expand throughput by drawing more cattle from the north of the state.
• Methane mitigating feed additives have the potential to deliver significant methane emission reductions at various points of the supply chain, such as during grain finishing. Feed additives were assumed to provide benefits within feeding facilities from 2024 and to grazing operations from 2027. Supply chain emissions mitigation from feed additives was forecast to improve incrementally throughout the decade, achieving a 9% improvement in emissions intensity for the supply chain by 2030. Together with beef herd management, combined emission mitigations were forecast to be 14.3% for the supply chain emissions intensity by 2030.
• Considering the central role of methane and the challenges in substantially reducing methane in the supply chain to 2030, there would be merit in further examining what is required to assess and potentially

Benefits to industry

For the industry CN30 goal to be achieved, it must be put into practice in commercial supply chains at scale. This is the first analysis of its kind, to comprehensively assess realistic emission reduction and carbon storage potential, while increasing beef production. Results were scaled to a 100,000 head turnoff to improve relatability to other supply chains. While the results and pathways reflect WA production conditions, these were not dissimilar to conditions in south-eastern Australia, and the mitigations were also generally applicable, though in some regions other options would also be available. The study showed that concerted effort across the whole supply chain will be required to achieve CN30. Other supply chains, including retailers, larger grain finishing businesses and meat processing plants could replicate this process to understand emissions and develop meaningful pathways to bring about change. While the context here has focused on carbon neutrality per kilogram of product, business net zero targets that cover only scope 1 and 2 emission sources are also appropriate as corporate goals.

Future research

As a result of the identified pathways to carbon neutral, an action list was developed to target priority actions for the supply chain, including actions already being taken as a part of this investigation. These are listed below:
Baseline carbon footprint and establish emission reduction and carbon storage options with suppliers and be able to report this into market claims. - 2022-2030. (Intensive focus - 2022-2024.)
Provide demonstration and extension programs to producers to enable best practice uptake, including using HRG operations. - Launch 2022. Deliver programs from 2022-2030. (Intensive focus 2022-2024.)
Establish a cost-effective program for suppliers and Harvey Beef for carbon neutral beef. - 2022-2030.
Undertake gaps analysis and create a feedback loop to research. (Intensive focus 2022-2023. Annual feedback loop 2022-2030.)
Implement supply chain wide enteric methane mitigation in feedlots via supplement usage. - 2023-2027
Implement mitigation strategies via improved herd management in northern regions. - 2022-2030
Develop and implement soil carbon sequestration projects at scale throughout the supply chain. - 2022 onwards
Implement vegetation projects – HIR and tree planting at scale throughout the supply chain. Pilot and demonstrate from 2022. Implement broadly from 2025-26.
Implement enteric methane mitigation strategies in grazing herd at scale throughout the supply chain via supplement usage. - 2028-30

Further programs are required to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030. The scale of HRG and their reach across the beef supply chain in WA provides a unique opportunity to lead a noticeable improvement in the sustainable and profitable production of Australian beef.


For more information

Contact Project Manager: Margaret Jewell