About the Framework

Background

A Sheep Sustainability Framework is currently under development by Australia’s sheep meat and wool industry. Industry leadership has initiated the Framework to demonstrate sustainable practices, identify areas for improvement, and better communicate with customers and consumers.

Demonstration of sustainable production of sheep meat and wool is critical in securing access to local and global markets. We want our customers to be confident that the food and fibre they purchase has been produced responsibly.

The Framework will assist industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas such as animal care, environmental impact, economic resilience, and people and community. It will improve transparency, provide evidence to our stakeholders that Australian sheep meat and wool has been produced responsibly, and build their trust and confidence in the industry. It will demonstrate that Australia has a commitment to improvement and a clear path towards more sustainable practices where needed.

The Framework identifies focus areas and priorities, and will include indicators to measure performance against these priorities.

The Framework will be used by industry to guide and track aggregate performance on-farms and some post-farm parameters to ensure that Australia can provide evidence that we are a global leader in sustainable sheep production.

A focus on aligning animal wellbeing, environmental, economic and social practices with best practice and community expectations, while sustainably managing sheep profitably, will help ensure continued access to markets and capital for Australian sheep businesses.

The Framework takes an industry-wide perspective. It does not have any specific requirements for producers. However, it may identify opportunities on farms, feedlots, in transport and in processing where practices can be improved by both the industry and individuals. It may also inform industry investment in particular practice areas.

Development of the Framework is being led by Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) and WoolProducers Australia (WPA), with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) providing funding, together with strategic and secretariat support. SPA and WPA have appointed a Sheep Sustainability Steering Group (Sheep SSG) to lead the process.

The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) made a public commitment to develop a Sheep Sustainability Framework in July 2017, drawing on learnings from the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework. It also supports the priorities of RMAC’s Red Meat 2030 strategy - RedMeat 2030 (page 5).

The National Wool Industry RD&E Strategy 2018-22 states that “product quality, provenance and sustainability will assume increasing importance, as will high animal welfare and ethical production standards, which will be required to maintain the industry’s social licence to operate. The Framework will address these elements.

The National Farmers Federation 2030 Roadmap for Industry Growth also has a focus on sustainability. Pillar 2 of the roadmap is “Growing Sustainably”, with the aspiration that farmers continue to embrace sustainable farming methods as part of a coordinated national framework that drives productivity and profitability, while recognising and rewarding environmental stewardship.


Scope

The Framework does not set industry policies, goals or targets; drive extension or adoption; audit or certify individual businesses; or impose costs or reporting requirements on individual businesses.

Individual businesses may use the Framework to understand the industry’s material issues and consider these in their forward planning.


Boundary

The boundary indicates where along the value chain the Framework will focus. It defines what will and will not be measured or reported.

The Framework will initially cover on-farm (including feedlots), transport (including live sheep exports), saleyards and Australian processors. This is where data is readily available to measure, monitor and report performance and progress (see Figure 1).

It is intended that the boundary of the Framework will extend to cover the overseas wool processing sector within the next one to three years.

It should be noted that as this is an Australian framework, it will initially report on Australian practices.


Background

A Sheep Sustainability Framework is currently under development by Australia’s sheep meat and wool industry. Industry leadership has initiated the Framework to demonstrate sustainable practices, identify areas for improvement, and better communicate with customers and consumers.

Demonstration of sustainable production of sheep meat and wool is critical in securing access to local and global markets. We want our customers to be confident that the food and fibre they purchase has been produced responsibly.

The Framework will assist industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges and impacts in key areas such as animal care, environmental impact, economic resilience, and people and community. It will improve transparency, provide evidence to our stakeholders that Australian sheep meat and wool has been produced responsibly, and build their trust and confidence in the industry. It will demonstrate that Australia has a commitment to improvement and a clear path towards more sustainable practices where needed.

The Framework identifies focus areas and priorities, and will include indicators to measure performance against these priorities.

The Framework will be used by industry to guide and track aggregate performance on-farms and some post-farm parameters to ensure that Australia can provide evidence that we are a global leader in sustainable sheep production.

A focus on aligning animal wellbeing, environmental, economic and social practices with best practice and community expectations, while sustainably managing sheep profitably, will help ensure continued access to markets and capital for Australian sheep businesses.

The Framework takes an industry-wide perspective. It does not have any specific requirements for producers. However, it may identify opportunities on farms, feedlots, in transport and in processing where practices can be improved by both the industry and individuals. It may also inform industry investment in particular practice areas.

Development of the Framework is being led by Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) and WoolProducers Australia (WPA), with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) providing funding, together with strategic and secretariat support. SPA and WPA have appointed a Sheep Sustainability Steering Group (Sheep SSG) to lead the process.

The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) made a public commitment to develop a Sheep Sustainability Framework in July 2017, drawing on learnings from the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework. It also supports the priorities of RMAC’s Red Meat 2030 strategy - RedMeat 2030 (page 5).

The National Wool Industry RD&E Strategy 2018-22 states that “product quality, provenance and sustainability will assume increasing importance, as will high animal welfare and ethical production standards, which will be required to maintain the industry’s social licence to operate. The Framework will address these elements.

The National Farmers Federation 2030 Roadmap for Industry Growth also has a focus on sustainability. Pillar 2 of the roadmap is “Growing Sustainably”, with the aspiration that farmers continue to embrace sustainable farming methods as part of a coordinated national framework that drives productivity and profitability, while recognising and rewarding environmental stewardship.


Scope

The Framework does not set industry policies, goals or targets; drive extension or adoption; audit or certify individual businesses; or impose costs or reporting requirements on individual businesses.

Individual businesses may use the Framework to understand the industry’s material issues and consider these in their forward planning.


Boundary

The boundary indicates where along the value chain the Framework will focus. It defines what will and will not be measured or reported.

The Framework will initially cover on-farm (including feedlots), transport (including live sheep exports), saleyards and Australian processors. This is where data is readily available to measure, monitor and report performance and progress (see Figure 1).

It is intended that the boundary of the Framework will extend to cover the overseas wool processing sector within the next one to three years.

It should be noted that as this is an Australian framework, it will initially report on Australian practices.