Australian red meat producers care passionately about the environment in which they raise their livestock. The reality is that their livelihoods depend on a thriving environment and healthy ecosystem.
The Australian red meat industry is a major land user, which makes it particularly exposed to environmental risks such as global warming. That’s why Australian red meat producers are committed to creating a more sustainable industry by managing emissions and water use, increasing biodiversity, creating energy efficiencies, reducing waste and implementing environmentally sustainable land management practices.
These innovations have seen the industry reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 53% since 2005. This means that the red meat industry has been able to cut its contribution to national GHG emissions from 22% in 2005 to 11.8% in 2018.
Australian farmers, like Smithfield Cattle Company, are enormously proud of the positive difference they have made in this area – and recognise the importance of continuing to improve, in order to leave a legacy for the future.
Australian research shows production and waste reduction strategies will make a greater contribution to reducing the environmental impact of a healthy diet in Australia than reducing red meat consumption below amounts recommended for good health in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
The industry recognises that although its practices have less of an environmental impact than other industries like electricity generation and transport, it still needs to work to minimise its impact on the environment even further.
Sustainable on-farm practices include:
Producing red meat requires large amounts of energy and water, which is why Australian red meat processers are focused on becoming more sustainable too.Sustainable processing practices include: