Defining deforestation free supply chains for red meat products

05 March 2024
Focus area: Packaging
Program stream: Sustainability
Project number: 2024-1016
The research was conducted following concerns raised by AMPC levy payers and key stakeholders that international treaty agreements had resulted in an increased trend amongst corporate Australia of committing to deforestation free commitments particularly in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

A range of pledges on eliminating deforestation in supply chains by Australian companies has resulted in the use of a wide range of terminology without specific definitions, leading to ambiguity and uncertainty in our industry.

The paper is designed to assist Australia’s red meat industry in understanding issues arising from deforestation free supply chain definitions. 

It synthesises fact-based information, comparisons of country reporting, and identifies arguments that could be made for demonstrating the sustainability credentials of Australia’s red meat industry relative to regulatory and non-regulatory requirements imposed by domestic and international jurisdictions.

It makes several recommendations to ensure we can respond to a range of market requirements and engage with stakeholders to assist their understanding of reasonable expectations and pathways.

The recommendations for industry and government include:
  • Recognise there is a broad range of ‘deforestation free’ commitments being made by corporate interests and regional trade interests – some representing a formative position at this stage.
  • Recognise the EUDR represents the first set of regulations to emerge in key markets.
  • Seek further clarification of the extent to which the land use criterion in international definitions of ‘forest’ (notably in the EUDR) excludes specific agricultural land uses.
  • Support ABARES and other government agencies in Australia to review the recently released EU Observatory ‘Global Forest Cover’ map (released December 2023).
  • Consider further the most cost-effective approach for industry members to work with government agencies to establish credible datasets that delineate land use areas with forest cover that align with ‘agricultural use’ definitions and EUDR specific requirements.
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