NEW South Wales branded beef and lamb supply chain, Argyle Foods Group, has announced a new carbon arm of the business – starting with work on its own properties before making it available to other producers.
Co-chief executive officer Lachlan Graham presented at this week’s Nature Based Solutions conference in Brisbane, giving an outline of the company’s own projects and plans to expand the new carbon service.
There was plenty of chatter among the delegates about whether companies down the supply chain would be interested in offering carbon services, like what Argyle is undertaking. However, the supply chain companies were a notable absence at the conference, with the exception of Stockyard Beef and Argyle.
Argyle Foods has its business divided into three arms, grazing operations across two properties in NSW, a meat business with 10 brands across Australia and North America and the new carbon business.
Mr Graham said the company had a goal to, directly and indirectly, develop and manage up to 200 carbon projects across NSW and Queensland. He said the company was keen to help the industry increase its knowledge about potential carbon and biodiversity projects.
“It is a unique opportunity, we are working very closely with industry and university partners to be at the forefront of this industry,” he said.
“We want to develop a clear strategy over several properties that we are either co-investing in or acquiring and make them an innovation hub for their areas. We want to be commercialising research projects, bringing in local producers to increase their understanding and get more projects registered through that process.
“The different locations we have targeted are in areas that have great opportunities around soil carbon, biodiversity, beef herd management and environmental plantings.
“The focus initially is on our own properties and our own integrated supply chain. But our intention is to open it up to everyone.”
Argyle’s regenerative and carbon focus
Argyle has at least three projects signed up to the Emissions Reduction Fund – a beef herd emissions reduction project, an environmental plantings project and a soil carbon project.
“It all sells a really good story to our consumers, it shows that we are doing the work as farmers and as a brand rather than buying offsets.”
Mr Graham said the company was starting to focus on its environmental credentials in the marketing of its meat.
“In the supply chain we have a big focus on key markets and consumers that have a concern and a care about environmental sustainability, animal welfare and social welfare,” he said.
“The US is a big market and I have just arrived back home from there where we launched our regenerative agriculture brands. We are looking at some other markets like the UK after the FTA was signed, Asia and the Middle East. We also have a contract with Coles, which we are looking at rebranding to including some of our regenerative agriculture propositions.”