World first sheep sustainability framework calling for public comment

World first sheep sustainability framework calling for public comment

November 19 2020

Red meat producers, wool growers and industry participants are being invited to consult and have their say on the impending Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework.

The Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework is a world first and is designed specifically for the Australian sheep industry and its supply chain. The industry led framework identifies sustainability priorities, demonstrates best practice and uses evidence to track industry progress against key indicators.

The Framework is the product of extensive and targeted industry engagement and consultation by the industry appointed Sheep Sustainability Steering Group. Public consultation, which opens TODAY, will further inform the Framework prior to its official launch in April 2021.

The Framework will outline industry’s commitment to sustainability through four key themes of:

  • Caring for our sheep
  • Enhancing the environment and climate
  • Caring for our people, customers and communities
  • Ensuring a financially sustainable industry.

Professor Bruce Allworth, Chair of the Sheep Sustainability Steering Group, said the Framework will be a crucial tool for industry to build trust by painting a clear and honest picture of sheep production in Australia.

“Our sustainability framework will improve transparency for Australia’s sheep industry and provide evidence to our customers that the food and fibre they purchase has been produced responsibly,” Professor Allworth said.

“It will assist our industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas around animal welfare, environment and climate change and industry sustainability and profitability.

“But right now, we’re asking industry stakeholders to tell us whether the sustainability priorities we’ve identified, and indicators we’ve included, are the right ones.

“We’re calling for those involved in the sheepmeat and wool industry right across the value chain – from producers through to customers – to help us define what sustainable production is, and how we measure and report it.

“The Framework, once published, will be a living document, subject to regular materiality review and refinement to ensure it continues to meet the expectations of all stakeholders, reporting regularly against its sustainability priorities.”

Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia have been leading the Framework development, with Australian Wool Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia providing funding together with strategic and secretariat support.

To provide comment on the draft Framework, visit by Wednesday, 9 December 2020.