SSF hosts inaugural Consultative Committee meeting

SSF hosts inaugural Consultative Committee meeting

October 21 2022

More than 50 stakeholders from across the value chain met in Melbourne for the first SSF Consultative Committee meeting.

MORE than 50 key stakeholders from across the Australian sheep and wool industry met in Melbourne on 5 October for the inaugural meeting of the Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF) Consultative Committee.

  • Stakeholders from across the entire sheep and wool value chain in attendance – from industry to government, finance, agribusiness, processing and export
  • Important opportunity to engage in a well-considered discussion of priority issues capturing a wide variety of perspectives
  • Milestone event in the evolution of the SSF.

The meeting, the first of its type since the launch of the SSF in April 2021, included a blend of producers and representatives of Sheep Producers Australia, WoolProducers Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, state farming organisations, Animal Health Australia and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (trade and market access, traceability), as well as businesses in the processing, finance and retail sectors including AWEX, Endeavour Wool Exports, Thomas Foods International, Gundagai Meats, Australian Lamb Company, Coles, NAB and Rabobank.

SSF Sustainability Steering Group Chair, Dr Scott Williams, said the Consultative Committee meeting provided an important forum to share the latest developments of the Framework, seek feedback from industry and collect valuable insights to inform future priorities and improvement.

“The SSF was launched in early 2021 as the first sustainability framework for the sheep and wool industries in the world, and this is an important milestone in its evolution and our work towards better understanding opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas such as environmental health, animal care, economic resilience, and people and communities,” Dr Williams said.

“Having such strong representation from across industry meant we could engage in a well-considered discussion of priority issues capturing a variety of perspectives from across the value chain.”

The meeting also included presentations from subject matter experts about new foundational Framework data, including:

  • Visualisation of vegetative cover for sheep grazing regions – Phil Tickle, Managing Director, Cibo Labs
  • Determination of emissions intensity of sheepmeat and wool using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) – Dr Steve Wiedemann, Managing Director, Integrity Ag and Environment
  • Frameworks, disclosures and standards: what does this mean for agriculture – Dr Robyn Leeson, Principal, STR Consulting and Vice Chair of the Global Reporting Initiative Global Sustainability Standards Board
  • SSF On-Farm Insights Report – Sarah Hyland, Meat & Livestock Australia.

“These presentations delivered valuable insights into how industry is tracking, including the first On-Farm Insights Report which presents relevant data from the recently completed National Producer Survey and provides important benchmarking data for the SSF,” Dr Williams said.

“It enables the Australian sheep and wool industry to understand where we are currently sitting in terms of sustainability on-farm and will allow industry to track progress in the adoption of key sustainability measures”. 

“This data also supports industry in demonstrating it has a clear pathway towards continual improvement and is striving to be the most sustainable in the world.”

Download the On-Farm Insights Report here.

Dr Robyn Leeson, Principal at STR Consulting and Vice-Chair of GRI's Global Sustainability
Standards Board, was guest speaker at the meeting.

Australian Wool Innovation’s Jane Littlejohn, Bridget Peachey and Emmah Goldsmith.

Phil Tickle Cibo Labs, Matt Deegan AMPC and MLA’s Edwina Clowes.

SSF chair Dr Scott Williams with Dr Bronwyn Clarke, WA Livestock Research Council and Chris White,
Southern Australian
Livestock Research Council.

Ed Storey, WoolProducers Australia and Mark Graves, AWEX.

Consultative Committee members discuss achievements and challenges in the group sessions:
Jo Hall, WoolProducers Australia, Ed Dunn, MH Premium, Robyn Leeson, STR Consulting
and Luke Hooke, NutrienAg.

Consultative Committee members discuss achievements and challenges in the group sessions:
Stephen Crisp and Bruce Gormley from AUS-MEAT with Johann Schroder, Sheep Producers Australia,
Ben Thomas Growth Farms Australia and Adam Dawes from WoolProducers Australia.

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