Public Seminar - An evaluation of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework

Beef cattle production contributes about $AU12 billion to the Australian economy and covers almost half of the land surface. Although the Australian beef herd, of 25 million head represents only about 3% of global numbers, it makes up almost 17% of total exports. The last two decades have seen rapidly changing consumer and public expectations of the sustainability performance of many industries and livestock has not escaped such scrutiny. In the last decade we've seen the emergence of a global roundtable for sustainable beef and in 2017 the development of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.

Building on past and concurrent research into the cattle industry, and public expectations of its environmental performance, we undertook comprehensive qualitative evaluation of the industry's sustainability framework. With 40 in-depth interviews across a diverse range of stakeholders within and external to the Australian beef industry we explored perception of these successes and challenges of the framework including its process is for ongoing adaption and its role in building and maintaining trust.

This presentation will cover key highlights from the study and discuss these in the context of other ongoing research at The University of Queensland.


About the speaker

Dr Bradd Witt is a multidisciplinary researcher who is passionate about rural and regional issues, in particular:

  • The management of rural and regional landscapes for diverse socio-ecological values,
  • Environmental and sustainability performance of agriculture especially how these industries negotiate dynamic internal industry and external community and consumer expectations,
  • Stakeholder engagement in environmental management and land use change and,
  • Decade to century scale environmental change in rangelands