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Red meat and the environment 

Australian red meat is more than just good for you – the industry is also having a positive impact on the environment, with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.  

How red meat is good for the environment

How good is Australian red meat when it comes to the environment? Surprisingly good – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have halved since 2005, the amount of water used to produce a kilo of beef has reduced 65% since 1985, Australia’s grazed agricultural lands are increasing in woody vegetation cover and the conversion of primary forest to other land uses has also declined by more than 90% from 1990 levels meaning more carbon storage and habitat for biodiversity. All this means consumers can continue enjoying Australian red meat knowing it’s good for the environment and it’s good for them!

Environmental insights

Keen to learn more about red meat and the environment? Simply choose a topic of interest from the drop-down menu. 

Meet the Austin Family

Meet the Austin Family

Stuart Austin and his family are passionate about the stewardship of soil, water, plants and animals on their cattle farm.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Is red meat farming environmentally sustainable?

    Australian farmers use a range of sustainable farming practices. These include managing emissions and water use, increasing biodiversity, creating energy efficiencies, reducing waste and implementing environmentally sustainable land management practices.

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  • How much water does it take to produce 1kg of beef?

    It takes 486 litres to produce 1kg of beef in Australia. Thanks to improved practices, that’s 68% less water than it took 30 years ago.

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  • Can red meat be carbon neutral

    The Australian red meat and livestock industry's goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030 (CN30), ahead of most other industries in Australia and around the world.

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  • How much greenhouse gas is produced by cows?

    Cows, sheep and other ruminants emit methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG), but methane is very different to carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the most abundant GHG in the atmosphere. Methane emissions from cows break down in the atmosphere, whereas CO2 from burning fossil fuels continues to build up over centuries.

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  • What impact does red meat have on native biodiversity?

    Biodiversity is the variety of all lifeforms found in one area; the different plants, animals and micro-organisms that live there, as well as the ecosystems in which they exist. Fresh approaches to grazing are helping farming and native biodiversity coexist.

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  • Does red meat production cause deforestation?

    The grazing of animals to produce red meat does not contribute to deforestation. In fact, the amount of tree cover Australia’s grazed agricultural lands has increased over the last 30 years.

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Intro background

Farmers care for the planet

Australian farmers are adopting a range of sustainability initiatives to reduce emissions and help the planet.

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Good for you

As well as being good for the environment, Australian red meat is exceptionally good for you as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

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