by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 MLA’s Communication Strategy EnvironmEnt Climate change and the environment are quite clearly topics of huge political, media and community interest at the moment and this will no doubt be the case for some time. I ndustries, companies and individuals are all being asked to do their bit to reduce their environmental footprint in a bid to halt climate change. Australia’s red meat industry is certainly no exception and is often the target of public commentary about the perceived negative impacts it has on the environment, and particularly in regard to methane emissions. As a result MLA, on behalf of the red meat industry, is undertaking a long-term communications campaign to promote the environmental credentials of the Australian sheep and cattle industry. The communications campaign will be directed at those living in metropolitan areas and will highlight the raft of positive environmentally-focussed activities being carried out by Australia’s livestock producers. The most prominent aspect of the campaign will be advertising, which will be undertaken in major metropolitan newspapers and magazines as well as on billboards and radio. Just as importantly MLA will also be seeking out key influencers – environmental groups, prominent academics, scientists, journalists and media personalities – to provide them with the facts about the industry’s environmental credentials. Building the knowledge of these key influencers should go some way to ensuring that the on-farm environmental practices of livestock producers are being publicly recognised and that when these key influencers do make comment about the industry it is based on correct facts and science. The first initiative of the campaign coincided with the popular worldwide ‘Earth Hour’ event on Saturday, 28 March, whereby MLA took out advertisements in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age declaring that “every hour is earth hour” for Australia’s livestock producers. A central plank of the campaign will be the use of livestock 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. A few of the key points that will be central to building the knowledge of key influencers and the community in general are: • Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from Australian livestock have actually fallen by 4.7% since 1990; the only Australian industry to have reduced its GHG emissions. During the same period GHG emissions from electricity generation increased by 43% and transport increased by 30%. • Australia’s farmland actually plays an important part in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Deep-rooted perennial pastures and trees found on farms in Australia are an important carbon sink. • Most livestock in Australia are produced on land that generally cannot be used to produce any other type of food. The vast semi-arid tracts of land throughout western Queensland and the Northern Territory – Australia’s main cattle producing regions – could not accommodate sustainable, productive plant-based food crops. These regions are, however, ideal for grazing livestock. • Meat & Livestock Australia has calculated that if you were to replace red meat proteins with plant-based proteins, Australia would need to find an arable area the size of Victoria and Tasmania combined. This is on top of existing available arable land. • Using the Australian Bureau of Statistics definition of water use it only takes between 60 litres to 320 litres of water to produce a kilogram of beef, depending on the production system. Misleading figures like it takes 100,000 litres of water to produce a kilogram of beef assumes all rain that falls on a cattle property is consumed by livestock, which is clearly not the case. Damon Whittock Public Affairs Manager Environment, Meat and Livestock Australia 43