Red meat industry: know your facts
Red Meat, Green Facts – a “fast facts” resource to promote the red meat industry’s credentials and empower Australia’s red meat advocates – has been launched at Beef Australia 2021 by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
The new producer pocket guide and online resource provides important information about cattle, sheep and goat production in Australia. It has a particular focus on animal welfare, protecting the environment and health and nutrition.
Changing the narrative
MLA Managing Director Jason Strong says that Australia’s red meat industry has world-leading production systems. It’s the custodian for half of Australia’s landmass and plays a vital and sustainable role in feeding Australians and the world. But frustratingly, the industry continues to see misconceptions, inaccuracies and criticisms gain traction.
“Never has it been more important for us to work together across our industry,” he says. “To be proactive and positive about what we do with the facts to counter any negative narrative. The reality is that our industry is leading the way in the challenge to lower emissions; to improve productivity; to constantly improve animal welfare. And in doing so, we produce a uniquely nutrient-dense and natural protein of the highest quality.
“It’s vital our industry is transparent as well as proud of our ongoing achievements in caring for our land, animals and products, with the evidence to back it up.”
A good story to tell
The new guide brings together clear, evidence-based messages on topics such as the environment, animal welfare, nutrition and plant-based meats.
“Our consumer and community insights continue to show that perceptions of the red meat industry are improving,” Strong continues. “However, consumers are less informed about the specifics. Our industry has a good story to tell. If we don’t start to tell it a little better, it’s a given that someone less qualified will.”
Underpinning Australian red meat’s popularity and quality are world-leading practices that producers use on-farm every day. The guide highlights the achievements of Australia’s producers while also providing science-based facts about how red meat is produced.
“We want our story to reflect the positivity of our industry’s contribution,” Strong says. “Long-term sustainability, health, growing our economy and leaving the land in better shape than we found it. That’s how we’ll resonate with the community most successfully.”
5 quick facts about the red meat and livestock industry
1. The Australian beef industry has more than halved greenhouse gas emissions since 2005. This reduction is larger than any other sector in Australia.
2. Most of Australia’s landmass cannot support any food production other than red meat. Just 8% of Australia’s landmass is suitable for cropping.
3. Eating lean red meat 3-4 times a week is recommended by nutritionists for a healthy balanced diet. This consumption is environmentally sustainable.
4. Red meat is a natural product, while plant-based meats can be highly processed.
5. Australia’s animal welfare standards are some of the most stringent in the world.
For more information on Red Meat, Green Facts, head to redmeatgreenfacts.com.au