Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the managing director of Meat and Livestock Australia, Jason Strong.
“When we look at sustainability issues, it is very much a developed world issue, and where we have choices, there is a lot of interest, a lot of discussion, about what those choices should be,” Strong said. “Interest in sustainability is really a significant space we are seeing increased, not just awareness but also action.”
Strong said he has plenty of discussions with international customers about trade implications, but from what he has seen, consumer purchasing decisions are not driven by sustainability.
“We know that climate is one of, if not the most important issue on people’s minds, yet we still don’t have that connection between consumer purchasing decisions and climate-positive activity, so how we manage that becomes a real challenge for us,” Strong said.
Australia practices traceability efforts, Strong said, allowing the consumer to see where their beef comes from, all the way back to the ranch it was raised on.
“I think we can certainly put a lot of effort into how we tell our story and how we demonstrate our credentials and our connection to the environment,” Strong said.
Australia has utilized mandatory individual identification for cattle for a few decades, Strong said and is moving in the direction of utilizing electronic identification more frequently.
“We export 75 percent of our product, so we need to be able to demonstrate to a very broad range of customers the credentials we have, and traceability is one of those, so when we make commitments to our customers about quality and verification of a source, particularly their product, it is important to be able to demonstrate how we do that,” Strong.
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