QUEENSLAND's cattle industry says the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework needs to better engage producers, particularly when it comes to key issues including vegetation management.
AgForce Cattle president Will Wilson said while the framework's 2020 update offered plenty of positives, there were areas of the report that needed further improvement and more work.
"Producers, as environmental stewards, need to engage with the framework to ensure that the indicators reflect the best environmental outcomes on the ground," Mr Wilson said.
"We are confident about the role of grasslands and cattle in carbon sequestration and biodiversity and see the need to push for more attention in this area.
We are confident about the role of grasslands and cattle in carbon sequestration and biodiversity and see the need to push for more attention in this area.
"Doing this will help facilitate investment into research to determine the beef industry's current benchmark of emissions versus sequestration."
The annual update for 2020 released by the Red Meat Advisory Council was launched at the Rural Press Club in Brisbane by Australian Beef Sustainability Frameworkchair Tess Herbert.
The annual update is described as report card on the Australian beef industry, highlighting the major sustainability milestones being achieved.
Mr Wilson said the framework needed to follow AgForce's lead and seek to stimulate sustainable on-ground practices by producers, instead of the current destructive vegetation legislation with its perverse outcomes.
"The framework should continue to demonstrate the importance of economic resilience," Mr Wilson said.
"Sustainability is a consequence of a long-term profitable beef business."
Despite its shortcomings, Mr Wilson said the annual update presented a picture of an industry that cared deeply about people, the land and its livestock.
"This report highlights the role cattle producers play in sustainably managing almost half of the Australian landscape and the significant contribution the sector has made to the national emissions profile and the health of regional and rural communities," Mr Wilson said.
"Producers are in business to provide the food and fibre products that customers want and customers' expectations about how we produce the food they eat is constantly changing.
"That's why it's important we transparently demonstrate to customers and government that our on-farm practices have integrity and that we are continuously improving."
Mr Wilson said the sustainability framework was important because it provided an evidence base upon which customers could continue to trust the industry to look after what is important to them, voluntarily and without unnecessary regulation.
"The industry is on track with transitioning to being carbon neutral by 2030, slashing emissions with a reduction of 56 per cent in the period 2005-16, largely through improving productivity and land management practices by producers," Mr Wilson said.
"This is a clear message to global consumers that the Australian beef industry is serious about addressing greenhouse gas emissions."
The story 'Beef's sustainability framework must engage producers' first appeared on Queensland Country Life.