Already, Australia produces some of the world’s cleanest, greenest mutton, lamb and beef, but an industry-backed initiative aims for a sustainable sheep and cattle sector within the next four years.
Target 100, launched in late 2013, is a commitment by Australian livestock farmers to ensure a sustainable cattle and sheep industry by 2020. It’s backed by industry heavyweights and fuelled by a community-building digital and social media campaign.
The Target 100 initiative, states the official website, is evidence of “the long-term commitment of Australia’s cattle and sheep farmers to advance sustainable practices – from an environmental, animal welfare, social and economic perspective – and ensure a sustainable food supply for generations to come”.
Target 100 is also about informing people within and outside the industry about sheep and cattle production in Australia, dispelling misconceptions and fostering “open discussion” among cattle and sheep farmers and the wider community.
Alongside its Facebook and Twitter channels, Target 100 created #GoodMeat, a three-part, 12-episode YouTube video series that addresses ‘the big issues’ of Aussie beef production, including animal welfare in our feedlots; the effect of methane emissions on climate; and protecting the Great Barrier Reef from sediment run-off, hosted by YouTube's animal-loving wild-man Andrew Ucles (series 1), chef Guy Turland of Bondi Harvest (series 2) and Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid, lifeguard from TV’s Bondi Rescue (series 3).
Through the Target 100 website, social media and #GoodMeat, you can:
- hear from and connect with real-life Aussie farmers working to make their sheep and cattle enterprises more sustainable;
- get information about 100 research, development and extension projects in the areas of soil, water, energy, pests and weeds, biodiversity, emissions and animal welfare;
- learn what the industry’s done in recent years to improve its sustainability record; and
- find out what it needs to do to ‘go greener’ going forward.
All this ‘good meat’ is served up in easy-to-digest chunks of information.
The guts of the project is the 100 initiatives being undertaken by industry members: a diverse array of projects in various states of completion. To find out more about the initiatives and their progress, click here.
While the driving force of Target 100 is farmers themselves, the project is backed by a large herd of industry bodies: the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA), Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA), Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA), Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) and service provider Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
“With the world’s growing appetite for high-quality protein, Australia needs to look at what it is most suited to producing,” notes Target 100. “With enormous areas of land that can’t be cropped, the most efficient and in many cases only option is grazing cattle and sheep to produce high-quality food for the world’s growing population.”
And as global demand for safe, sustainably produced beef and lamb increases, Australia’s ‘greener’ livestock enterprises will be well positioned to profit.