Meat and Livestock Australia, Australia most influential beef body, has launched an ambitious campaign to make the red meat industry carbon neutral by 2030. MLA is the first beef and sheep meat exporting nation to stake this claim.
This strategy tackles the emergence of laboratory or synthetic meat and puts the beef industry ahead of growing consumer demand for environmental sustainability. According to MLA’s managing director, if the red meat industry is to continue to prosper, it needs to maintain a sharp understanding of consumers – including their expectations, must-haves and desires. He also referred to the “increasing noise in international markets about a product’s environmental sustainability and carbon footprint” and the global companies that are investing money in cultured beef (i.e. food grown in laboratories using stem cells). “The fact is,” he says, “That market signals in our high-value international markets are telling us that our carbon footprint and emissions from livestock production are an issue.”
How is MLA going to deliver this zero carbon footprint status? So far, MLA and CSIRO have identified a series of pathways that include new innovations and farm management options. According to MLA, these may include “the use of legumes and dung beetles in pasture systems, feedlotting, savannah fire management in northern Australia, sensible vegetation management, new feed supplements, genetic improvements and even the possibility of a vaccine to reduce methane production in the rumen”.
This post is adapted from Farm Weekly.