For Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), as the Australian red meat and livestock industry’s research and marketing service provider, sustainability is at the centre of all that we do and informs our priorities and investment decisions. 

For MLA and the Australian red meat and livestock industry, sustainability means the production of livestock in a way that is environmentally, socially and financially responsible with respect to our people, our animals and our natural resources. MLA’s research and development investments are focused on demonstrating that sustainability goes hand in hand with productivity and long term inter-generational success.

In regards to sustainability, Australia’s red meat and livestock industry has some ambitious aspirations: 

  • For the red meat and livestock industry to be Carbon Neutral by 2030
  • Be world leaders in agricultural environmental management and stewardship practices
  • Be world leaders in animal health, welfare and production practices
  • To double the value of Australian red meat sales and be a trusted source of the highest quality protein by 2030.

The red meat and livestock industry’s commitment to sustainability is demonstrated through our alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and through the Australian Beef and Sheep Sustainability Frameworks. The role of these is to monitor, measure and report industry performance and progress through indicators and metrics that work to improve our animal welfare, environmental stewardship, economic resilience and by supporting our people and the communities in which they live. 

The Australian Beef and Sheep Sustainability Frameworks are crucial tools in helping Australia’s red meat industry share its story aligned with changing consumer expectations, they also provide the data and evidence that demonstrate best practice and progression and are crucial to help inform red meat producers around on-farm measures and tools to build the productivity of individual farm businesses.

The 2021 Annual Beef Sustainability Framework Update, included the following highlights:

  • The Australian beef industry remains free from all exotic diseases to ensure access to over 100 markets.
  • The Australian beef industry has had a 51.46% reduction in its carbon footprint since the Paris baseline year of 2005.
  • It now takes 68% less water to produce a kilo of beef than it did 30 years ago.
  • Awareness of Animal Welfare Standards for Cattle has risen to 97.3% from 73%.
  • Red meat producers rated their global life satisfaction at 79.45 out of 100.

Our commitment to transparency of our production systems and our unwavering focus on continuous improvement through proactive adoption and practice change is highlighted in our MLA Sustainability Update which captures in one place our investments in sustainability across the red meat industry as aligned to industry’s priority areas. 

Since early 2019, MLA has been a member of Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. This is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef supply chain through leadership, science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.  As part of this, MLA is helping to lead a global effort with coordinated communications to build trust and promote our industry.  

MLA recognises the Banksia Award as Australia’s most prestigious national sustainability award and we are proud and honoured to become a sponsor.