CENTRAL Queensland cattle producer Josie Angus says the beef industry needs to stop apologising and start promoting itself for the massive benefits it already delivers.
Responding to the recently-released Beef Sustainability Framework's annual report, Ms Angus said the process was being driven by "suits in board rooms wanting to feel better about their own business".
"We should be talking about the nutrition this industry delivers and the food security it provides, not apologising for our existence," Ms Angus said.
"We can't allow the industry to be directed from outside, particularly when it is the producers who have the incredible skills in land and cattle management.
"The Beef Sustainability Framework cannot be a 'down all tools and don't do anything' report. It has to be about the sustainability of the industry driven by producers."
In a very popular Facebook post, Ms Angus described herself as "just a cowgirl" and challenged McDonald's, NAB and World Wildlife Fund as well as beef industry representatives to rethink how they were attempting to steer the industry.
In particular, she took exception to the fact that the beef industry appeared to have locked itself into a path that endorsed a lower level of beef production, while encouraging chicken and pork consumption.
She also refuted suggestions that the beef industry was heading towards a 100 per cent polled herd, and that red meat consumption should be limited to 65 grams a day.
"Who is being asked these questions? Certainly not producers and it doesn't appear to be our actual consumers.
"Has anyone stopped to think that we would be throwing away decades of genetic diversity and vigour if we went to a 100pc polled herd? And where is the science that the beef industry supports saying red meat consumption should be limited to 65g?
"For all the incredible good work we do, we're not giving ourselves a fair wrap."
Ms Angus said there were parts of McDonald's, NAB and the WWF which could be improved, but she previously resisted criticising those corporations based on their specific areas of expertise.
Not backing down
JOSIE Angus says land management, animal welfare, and the environment are all like riding a horse - it takes a lot of feel on the reins.
"I'm just a cowgirl," Ms Angus said. "But I know a bit about holding the reins.
"It's about eternally learning. There is no standard operating procedure for it; there is no simple calculation and there definitely isn't a model. Above all else, sitting behind a board room table, you have no feel."
Ms Angus said industry leaders needed to stop undermining producers.
"The only shame is in trumpeting disproven science, all the while sacrificing your constituents to the alter," she said.
"I may not know much about virtue signalling, but I do know that my peers have some of the most incredible skills in land and cattle management. I won't ever apologise for that."
Ms Angus and her husband Blair run about 35,000 cattle on four properties in Central Queensland. They are also in the process of the building a 50,000 head/year export-accredited abattoir.