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EMS Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture Program

The 2008 Landleader project (Landleader 2008) has successfully engaged 11 priority regional natural resource management bodies across Australia to collect information on the environmental and livestock management practices of 362 broad acre graziers. The project is a joint initiative of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and funded under the Australian Government’s EMS Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture Program.

MLA supported Landleader 2008 to build on the success of the Landleader trials held in 2007 and to enhance the project by capturing further best practice data from Australian broadacre farmers with the objective of documenting the red meat industry’s current environmental management practices and to provide direction for land managers to continuously improve their environmental performance.

A key component of Landleader 2008 has been the provision for data to be collected on a regional basis by working closely with a sample of natural resource management (NRM) bodies. This process provided an opportunity to test the robustness and validity of using farm practice data to report on regional NRM targets. Ten NRM bodies and one producer group were instrumental in the distribution of the Landleader surveys. An independent evaluation of this distribution process and the value of the self assessment survey to the participants – both landholders who completed the survey, and also the NRM bodies who facilitated the distribution was undertaken. This evaluation and ongoing discussions are important to the future roll-out of the Landleader project as a key component of the industry’s objectives for continuous improvement in e​nvironmental stewardship.

​MLA recognises that protecting the environment is a key responsibility for the red meat industry and a vital part of maintaining sustainable production. The industry recognises the need to understand, accurately report and, where appropriate, improve performance in environmental sustainability.

The red meat industry is custodian of a significant proportion of the continental land mass and plays a vital role in managing Australia’s natural resources. MLA's Strategic Plan 2007 – 2011 recognises the role of responsible management of those natural resources in sustainability and the importance of documenting its environmental credentials. Demonstrating responsible environmental stewardship is important as it can play a role in maintaining access to natural resources, influencing consumer opinion and promoting markets.

MLA considers Landleader 2008 to have been successful in setting the foundations for an ongoing program. Highlights are the establishment of a custom built data collection tool (survey) and database which captures and stores information on the grazing industries and monitors environmental best management practice change over time. The project provides baseline data for continued evaluation of adoption of environmental best practices. The development and inclusion of a module on greenhouse gas best practice made possible under National Agriculture Climate Change Action Plan (NACCAP) funding for MLA is an important component of the

Landleader survey because of the emerging focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors and on the impacts of climate change. This point was raised by participating CMAs in the evaluation as particularly important in their reporting. In addition, the project has enhanced working relationships between MLA and the 11 participating groups while giving public recognition to MLA’s focus on environmental as well as production issues.

The independent evaluation saw an encouraging future for Landleader, with a generally positive view from the NRM bodies involved. Ninety per cent of participating landholders expressed a willingness to be involved again, hence providing potential for landholder practice change, and NRM body respondents saying they would be interested in distributing the Landleader survey in the future.


Title Size Date published
2.3MB 10/02/2012


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
EMS Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture
03/09/2007 30/09/2008

This page was last updated on 06/07/2018

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