This week we attended a forum organised by JBS, probably the world’s largest processor of meat. It was held at Prime City feedlot in Griffith, NSW. We heard from several of the key operating executives in the industry.
One of the important takeaways was that McDonalds Australia, one of the largest single consumers of beef in Australia has asked JBS to submit a questionnaire on how it stands up against the newly announced “Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.” (www.sustainableaustralianbeef.com.au) This is clearly an important step for our industry and one we need to be on top of. The Framework has been developed over the last 3 years and is a fairly sensible approach to the need for the industry to adapt to the new social pressures which are emerging for all businesses in the western world.
The Framework focuses on 6 key pillars:
Animal Husbandry Techniques
Profitability across the Value Chain
Balance of Tree and Grass Cover
Manage Climate Chain Risk
Health and Safety of People in Industry
The questionnaire from McDonalds goes a step further and requests JBS to certify that none of the beef they supply is sourced from paddocks which were illegally cleared. This is an amazing concept to attempt to force major corporate producers to take responsibility for the entire value chain.
It shows the way global business is being regulated and the need to take this stuff seriously.