Sustainability is essential to Australian red meat production. At each stage of production measures are undertaken to increase efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage other environmental impacts to maintain natural resources in good condition. This ensures Australia’s red meat is produced with a dedication to caring for our environment.

Find out more about the facts behind red meat and the environment at www.redmeatgreenfacts.com.au


MLA invests significantly in research and development to:

  • Manage emissions and water use
  • Create energy efficiencies
  • Reduce waste
  • Implement environmentally sustainable land management practices

The Australian red meat industry invests over $7.5m annually in research and development in ways to continuously improve environmental performance.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The Australian red meat industry is collaborating with other livestock industries and governments in research and development to find practical ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing productivity.

Since 1990, emissions from red meat production have decreased by 6.5% per kilogram of product.

Managing the land for Australia

Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers are the primary custodians of large parts of the continent. A central part of every farming business is protecting and improving the natural environment in which livestock are produced. Australia’s livestock production systems are mostly extensive, using large areas of rangelands and semi-arid land to graze sheep and beef cattle providing high quality food from land, much of which is not suitable for other types of agricultural production.

Managing water

Water is a precious commodity in Australia and like all agricultural production systems, the Australian red meat industry is working hard to effectively manage water resources. Livestock producers employ a variety of measures to use water efficiently in their grazing systems, including maintaining healthy soils with adequate nutrients and minimising run-off. Processing plants, meanwhile, are also changing their operations to improve their water use efficiencies.

Knowledge sharing

MLA is an active member of the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Platform. This initiative began in Europe five years ago when world-leading food companies created a common food and agricultural platform to promote sustainable agriculture at a global level. The SAI Platform is an independent association, operating across the agriculture, food and fibre chain, with the aim of improving sustainability outcomes in a practical way.