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Carbon Neutral Beef Introduced in Victoria

Carbon Neutral Beef Introduced in Victoria


Carbon Neutral Beef Introduced in Victoria

Article by: Hari Yellina

Coles has introduced a new carbon-neutral beef brand, however the farmers who source the food are not always carbon-neutral. Steve Rennie, Coles’ head of beef procurement, said the product had been in the works for two years. “The carbon analysis has been from farm to shelf,” he explained. “Whatever carbon we can’t get rid of in the supply chain, we buy carbon credits to offset it, and we end up with a carbon neutral product that is certified by Climate Active.” He said there will be seven distinct slices of beef in the line, which would first be marketed in Victoria before being carried out across the country.

Mr Rennie added, “We’re working on 200 animals a week just for Victoria.” “The expectations are high, and we expect demand to grow as we roll it out across the country over the next 12 months.” From farm to shelf, according to Mr. Rennie, it was a full supply chain approach. “It’s certainly not only the duty of farmers, but they play the largest role and can do the most to reduce their carbon footprint.” Producers who have been deemed low carbon emitters will supply the new brand. Mark Ritchie, a cow farmer from Delatite Station, has been supplying Coles for ten years and stressed that the beef that leaves the farm is not carbon neutral.

“We’ve been analysing our emissions and carbon impact for the past two years.” “We’re still in the early stages; the goal for us is to reduce our carbon impact even more.” Mr Richie said he was pleased with Coles’ purchase of carbon credits to offset emissions while he worked to reduce his own. “It’s complicated, and as a producer, I’m hesitant to undertake it myself; I believe I’m better off doing what I do best, which is cattle production.” Beef farmers Andrew and Jane Marriott from north-east Victoria said they would also supply the brand. Mr Marriott stated that this was the direction the industry was heading towards.

“We’re not carbon neutral,” Mr Marriott explained, “but this whole process of figuring out what our carbon footprint is has shown us that a lot of things that contribute to a reduced footprint are excellent farming practises.” “You must have a high weaning rate, a high conception rate, good pastures, plant trees, and be environmentally conscious. Coles has come up with a unique approach to achieve this since they want you to run your system as efficiently as possible. “We had a carbon footprint of just over 10 pounds per kilo of animal, and we’re aiming to reduce that even more with things like feed additives.”

Gary Baker, a Nurmurkah biodynamic farmer, was surprised to learn that the farms supplying the meat were not carbon neutral. Mr Baker stated, “It’s the biggest con I’ve ever heard.” “You can mine coal, buy credits somewhere, and claim that coal is clean because we offset it.” “I believe we require true information from the farm; if the beef is carbon neutral, the meat that leaves the farm must also be carbon neutral.” Mr Baker has spent the last 21 years working to reduce his farm’s carbon footprint and believes he is only halfway to becoming carbon neutral. “We believe we are a long way from becoming carbon neutral.” Mr Baker believed that some farms could achieve Meat and Livestock Australia’s carbon neutral aim by 2030, but that it would necessitate significant modifications. “It’s conceivable if others choose to invest the money like we have.”