Demonstration of sustainable production of sheep meat and wool is critical in securing access to local and global markets. We want our customers to be confident that the food and fibre they purchase has been produced responsibly.
The Framework will enable industry to share its story about sustainable food and fibre. It will assist industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas such as animal care, business profitability, environmental and climate, and our people and community.
It will improve transparency, provide evidence to our stakeholders that Australian sheep meat and wool has been produced responsibly, and build their trust and confidence in the industry. It will demonstrate that Australia has a commitment to improvement and a clear path towards more sustainable practices where needed.
The Framework is being developed in consultation with industry (including representatives across the sheep meat and wool value chain, as well as government and technical experts) and external stakeholders (including customers, retailers, special interest groups and investors).
Producers will be represented in the process via peak industry councils and state farmer organisations. Producers will also be able to provide direct feedback on a draft of the Framework via an online survey.
Given the food and fibre scope of the framework, two Rural Development Corporations (RDCs) are supporting the industry framework. Both Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) provide strategic advice and secretariat services to the Framework Board and Steering Group.
The framework design will follow a similar process used by the beef industry to develop the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.
At an individual business level, the Framework does not require any direct input as businesses already provide a wide range of information to government and other agencies.
The Framework will be used by industry to guide and track aggregate performance on-farm and at feedlots to ensure that Australia continues to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable sheep production.
A focus on aligning environmental, welfare, social and economic practices with best evidence and community expectations, while growing profitability will help ensure continued access to markets and capital for Australian sheep businesses.
The first draft of the Framework has been developed by taking on board the advice and perspectives of a range of industry organisations consulted in Q1 on 2020.
Feedback on the first draft Framework will be gathered through consultation forums in early June.
Stakeholders unable to attend one of these are welcome to provide their input online. All feedback received will be considered in developing a second draft Framework which will be available for further and more public consultation at the end of July.
The world first Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework is now open for public consultation and you are invited to offer your feedback, comments and ideas via an online survey and discussion forum. The Framework is due for launch in April 2021. Click here
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