MLA promotes graziers green credentials

31 Mar, 2009 11:45 AM
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Meat & Livestock Australia has launched a campaign to promote the environmental credentials of the Australian sheep and cattle industry.

It says that Australia's graziers are "environmentalists in the true sense of the word".

In launching the new campaign on Saturday, MLA chairman Don Heatley said it was vital to communicate this point to metropolitan audiences and highlight red meat producers' "no nonsense, practical solutions".

"Protecting the environment is a priority for the Australian red meat industry and a vital part of maintaining its ongoing sustainability," Mr Heatley said.

"Ongoing communications, including advertising, will be targeted at urban audiences; those who are often not as familiar with livestock production and what happens on a working property.

"A central plank of the campaign will be the use of producer case studies, to let producers themselves tell of the wealth of environmental work occurring and allowing them to demonstrate the positive environmental credentials of Australia’s sheep and cattle industries."

The campaign will highlight facts, such as:

• The overwhelming majority of water used to raise livestock is not diverted and is naturally sourced. Given that most beef production in Australia is carried out in areas that are not suitable for other forms of food production and is far from major population centres, the water used to raise Australian cattle is generally not available for any other use.

• According to the Australian Greenhouse Office, Australia’s livestock emissions have reduced by 4.7 percent since the Kyoto base year of 1990, the only Australian industry to achieve a reduction in emissions.

• MLA and the Federal Government are spending more than $50 million on research into soil carbon, livestock methane emissions and other initiatives to minimize the livestock industry’s environmental footprint.

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