15 February 2023.

AgForce is calling for some of Australia’s largest companies to withdraw their support from the Business Benchmark on Animal Welfare.

The organisation has spoken out in support of the National Farmers’ Federation, after revelations the UK-based Benchmark proposes to rank companies based on their commitment to ‘reducing reliance on animal products’ – including a plan to halve the multi-billion dollar livestock industry by 2040.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the proposal laid bare the agenda of the radical activist groups behind the organisation, and needed to be stopped.

“This is an extreme agenda that is not based on science at all,” he said.

“Australia’s strong regulatory environment and track record – both on animal welfare and sustainability – means there is no ethical reason to reduce demand for Australian livestock products at all.

“It is horrifying to think that businesses are affiliating themselves to an organisation that has got things so wrong.

“We take animal welfare incredibly seriously in Australia, and our agriculture is often talked about as being the envy of the rest of the world.

"One of the main reasons we produce such high-quality food and fibre is the health of our livestock. You can’t have one without the other, which is why it’s essential we promote continuous improvement in animal welfare.

“Animal welfare continues to be a priority - not only in herd management practices but also combating biosecurity risks such as the current threats of foot and mouth and lumpy skin disease.”

The latest report from the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework firmly cements Australia’s position as a nutritional powerhouse – revealing the country delivered 32.3 billion portions of red meat globally between 2021 and 2022.

Figures show the industry has also more than halved its CO2 emissions since 2005, recording a reduction of 58.21 per cent in 2019.

Mr Guerin added: “Our beef contains 12 essential nutrients recommended for good health and is an excellent source of iron, zinc and omega-3, and we are driving productivity to ensure everyone can enjoy it.

“Our producers are also stewards of the environment and are acutely aware of their responsibility to care for the country’s natural assets.

“As an industry we take great responsibility and accountability in working towards nature positive goals - soil, vegetation, water and biodiversity are always front of mind.

“Businesses should be working with farmers to progress animal welfare outcomes, not affiliating themselves with extremist groups on the other side of the world.”


Media Contact: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin 0488 002 092