MEDIA RELEASE       14 March 2014

Producers must engage to define beef sustainability

The Cattle Council of Australia is urging producers to engage with the draft Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef when they are released for a sixty-day consultative period next week.

The Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef are being developed by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), of which the Cattle Council of Australia is a member. The draft Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef, available next week, are intended to be a high level document, however the significance that the document holds for beef producers cannot be understated and producer participation during the consultative period is integral.

Cattle Council of Australia President, Andrew Ogilvie, has been participating in the development of the document and says there is still work to be done.

“I urge beef producers to consider what it is that makes a beef operation in Australia truly sustainable including business viability, profitability and climatic flexibility” Mr Ogilvie said.

“Major suppliers of Australian beef are represented on the GRSB and their consumers are increasingly demanding they source a sustainable product. The Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef are the first steps in attempting to capture the broader concept of sustainable beef production.

“It is important that producers feel that the draft Principles and Criteria reflect a manageable level for beef producers under the triple bottom line balancing environmental, social and economic considerations, particularly considering current widespread drought conditions in Australia.

“Cattle Council wants to see this document as being reflective of the realities of sustainable beef production in Australia; without on-farm profitability, sustainable beef production is unattainable.

“Beef production systems vary globally and to reflect this, the Principles and Criteria will be used to inform the development of regionally specific Indicators of sustainable beef production. Cattle Council will be driving to ensure that these Indicators are measured on a macro-industry level, as opposed to individual on-farm certification.

“The Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef will apply to all aspects of the supply-chain but at the end of the day, the buck stops with producers,” Mr Ogilvie said.   

The Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Beef will be available online via the Cattle Council website. Direct Members of the Cattle Council of Australia will be able to comment directly through the CCA website.   

ENDS
Contact: Mary Johnson, m. 0417 249 506

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