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Increasing organic beef production on Australian farms

This project was established to increase the number of Australian beef producers with organic certification, enabling the supply of organic beef for both domestic and export organic supply chains where demand currently far outweighs supply.

Jointly funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and farmer owned meat exporter Australian Organic Meats (AOM Group), the project has now enabled existing beef producers to convert to Organic status through a nationally recognised certification process and training in organic livestock management.

Significant interest in organic beef production was recorded during the target market direct contact phase. Beef producers from northern Australia were more willing to try organic methods to control identified pests and diseases such as ticks and buffalo fly, as opposed to beef producers in southern states.  

The production of extension resource materials, one-on-one technical extension and thorough pre-audit support to producers either considering, or in the process of, converting to organic production has been paramount in achieving the project aims.  Certified organic producers received a meat price premium approximately 25% greater than that of non-organic and transition producers. This project sought to demonstrate the opportunities that organic certification for the beef industry presents through producer awareness and information sessions that quantified and demonstrated the economic benefits of organic beef production via benchmarking. However, organic certification is not a silver bullet for businesses that are not performing well. Sound business management strategies are needed prior to becoming certified organic in order to capitalise on the opportunities that certification presents.

At the commencement of the project, targets were set pertaining to the number of properties expected to be certified and/or in transition from non-organic to organic. The project correlated the increase in certified properties to direct increases in the number of organic cattle available for the organic beef markets. 

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2.7MB 30/04/2015

This page was last updated on 28/06/2017

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