On the 12th of May we launched the second Annual Report of the Sheep Sustainability Framework at the beautiful property Anlaby, in South Australia, marking another important milestone in the progress of the Framework.
It presents data on 91% of Framework metrics, a significant increase on the 65% of metrics for which we had data in the first report. This improvement was due largely to the availability of data from the 2021 Census, the 2022 National Producer Survey commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), and the 2022 Australian Meat Processing Corporation (AMPC) Environmental Performance Review (EPR). We are on track to be reporting against 100% of metrics by the time of the 2024 report.
Pleasingly, most indicators showed either directional improvement or held steady in comparison to 2022. Highlights included increases in the prevalence of producers who have undertaken Lifetime Ewe Management training, flock genetic resistance to worms and breech flystrike, and participation in voluntary product integrity schemes. The major area for concern was an increase in the number of serious injury workers’ compensation claims.
The Framework Steering Group welcomed two new members late in 2022: Julian Collins, from ABMT Textiles; and Jane Kellock, a sheep producer from South Australia. Both have been excellent additions to our group. I thank Michael Field and Deanna Lush who stepped down at the conclusion of their terms. I’m grateful to all the past and current members for their contributions and cannot overstate the value of their real-world perspectives to the Framework.
Sadly, we have recently farewelled our MLA manager Sarah Hyland. Sarah has been with the Framework since its inception and can take much of the credit for bringing it to fruition. Since the Framework was published in 2021, she has very successfully organised two annual report launches, a Consultative Committee Meeting and Industry Forum, and numerous Steering Group and Board meetings. I wish Sarah all the best for her new role with GrainGrowers as we start the challenging process of finding a suitable replacement for her.
We will soon lose another valued member of the SSF team, too, in Lucinda Corrigan. Lucinda has been the independent Chair of the SSF Board for four years. She has been a steady hand and mentor for all involved in the Framework, giving us the wisdom of her vast experience as board and committee chair and agriculturalist. On behalf of the Steering Group, I thank Lucinda and look forward to her ongoing friendship with the Framework.