A sustainability framework for Australian beef


A sustainability framework for Australian beef

The challenge

With an annual turnover of more than A$20 billion, and recognition as one of the world’s largest and most successful and efficient producers of commercial livestock, the Australian red meat industry realised a pressing need to meet changing customer and community expectations about the impact of beef production.

Industry leadership agreed to work on improving beef industry transparency through stakeholder engagement, identification of key community interests and the development of meaningful progress indicators.

Seeking a partner with a strong track record in developing consultative sustainability frameworks, the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) engaged Currie to broker a strategic conversation about sustainability.

The solution

From Currie’s award-winning experience in other sectors, we know that frameworks provide a basis for engaging stakeholders, fostering collaboration and for developing priority area performance reporting.

We also understand that using robust consultation and stakeholder engagement processes ensures that stakeholders are willing to give social license to use a framework strategically and operationally.

Currie worked with MLA to design and deliver an integrated three-phase program that included:

  • Stakeholder mapping, consultation design and issue management
  • Workshop facilitation and strategy planning with project leaders
  • Development and testing of a sustainability framework based on extensive and accessible consultation with industry and non-industry stakeholders
  • Targeted communication and media relationship activities

Underpinning these activities was robust governance, strategic counsel and the sophisticated deployment of sustainability planning mechanisms, including collaboration with a materiality assessment auditor.

The outcomes

Together, we helped RMAC and MLA develop and deliver the first-ever definition (comprising themes,  priority areas, performance indicators and in some case, metrics) of sustainable beef production in Australia.

Our novel approach to public consultation using an online platform garnered exceptional levels of measurable engagement and allowed us to test preliminary frameworks with a far broader spectrum of stakeholders than traditional methods alone could have achieved. A media campaign reached an audience of more than 23 million.

Not only did Currie assist industry to keep track of its progress during the journey, we helped to tell its sustainability story, reach consensus with stakeholders and arrive at the next stage – implementation.

What our client says

 “Currie Communications have been invaluable through the development of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.  It’s refreshing to work with an agency that genuinely has a deep understanding of sustainability and the complexities that come with it.  This in combination with their broad networks and a passion for stakeholder engagement have been the perfect fit for this project.  I have found the Currie team to always be available for strategic counsel and importantly deliver on the execution. Currie are an asset and pleasure to work with.”

Pip Band, Program Manager – Industry Sustainability Framework, Meat & Livestock Australia