Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

Feedback sought on Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework

Sheep Central, November 20, 2020

AUSTRALIA’S proposed sheep sustainability framework will improve industry transparency and build consumer trust in wool and sheep meat, according to the project’s leader.

Chair of the Sheep Sustainability Steering Group, Professor Bruce Allworth, said the framework will be a crucial tool for industry to build trust by painting a clear and honest picture of sheep production in Australia.

“Our sustainability framework will improve transparency for Australia’s sheep industry and provide evidence to our customers that the food and fibre they purchase has been produced responsibly.

“It will assist our industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas around animal welfare, environment and climate change and industry sustainability and profitability,” Professor Allworth said.

Professor Bruce Allworth

Red meat producers and industry participants are being consulted and have been invited to comment on a draft framework document before 9 December, 2020.

Meat & Livestock Australia said the Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework will be a world first and is designed specifically for the Australian sheep industry and its supply chain. The industry led framework identifies sustainability priorities, demonstrates best practice and uses evidence to track industry progress against key indicators, MLA said.

The framework is the product of extensive and targeted industry engagement and consultation by the industry appointed Sheep Sustainability Steering Group. Public consultation will further inform the Framework prior to its official launch in April 2021.

MLA said the framework will outline industry’s commitment to sustainability through four key themes of:

Caring for our sheep

Enhancing the environment and climate

Caring for our people, customers and communities

Ensuring a financially sustainable industry.

Dr Allworth said the steering group is asking industry stakeholders to tell it whether the sustainability priorities we’ve identified, and indicators we’ve included, are the right ones.

“We’re calling for those involved in the sheep meat and wool industry right across the value chain – from producers through to customers – to help us define what sustainable production is, and how we measure and report it.

“The framework, once published, will be a living document, subject to regular materiality review and refinement to ensure it continues to meet the expectations of all stakeholders, reporting regularly against its sustainability priorities.”

Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia have been leading the framework development, with Australian Wool Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia providing funding together with strategic and secretariat support.

The other members of the steering group are Gundagai Meat Processors chief executive officer Will Barton, Tasmanian producers Dr Will Bignell, New England Wool managing director Andrew Blanch, New South Wales producer Michael Field, Victorian producer Johnny Gardner, South Australian producer Deanna Lush, Western Australian producer Emily Stretch, SustainaWOOL program manager Dr Paul Swan, Victorian producer Mark Wootton.

To provide comment on the draft framework, visit by Wednesday, 9 December 2020.


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  1. Don Mudford, November 21, 2020

    I think it is a good start. The industry definitely needs a living framework, then develop it over time with new expectations and as new technology becomes available … provided it’s not just a talk-fest and is serious about meeting requirements of the four priorities mentioned.

    • Donald Cameron, November 24, 2020

      Or this is just more rent seekers and more regulation?

    • Bruce Allworth, November 24, 2020

      Great comment Don.

      • Donald Cameron, November 25, 2020

        One outcome of this tragic pandemic is that it has brought into sharp focus the uncontrolled growth of many sheltered workplaces, aka universities, and the $40 billion the taxpayer is now burdened with in subsidies to keep them and their self-justifying propaganda departments afloat.

        In spite of the billions in taxpayer subsidies, university employees continually spin the line, “universities are our greatest export industry”.

        • Edward Storey, November 25, 2020

          Donald Cameron, I can only guess you are being critical of this framework. Could you please be clearer about exactly what is your problem with it, lest readers think you are making comments about some of the persons named above?
          Edward Storey, President, Woolproducers Australia (also a director of the abovementioned Sheep Sustainability Framework)

          • Donald Cameron, November 25, 2020

            A problem is foot rot and the fact that little has been achieved to resolve this issue over the last 40 years, despite numerous PHds
            and millions spent on research.
            Meanwhile, a vaccine for COVID-19 may be available after a mere 12 months.

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