Sustainability report released

The first Sheep Sustainability Framework annual report has been released and aims to deliver a snapshot of the sustainability performance of the nation’s sheep and wool industry. Photo by Vanessa Wiltshire

The first annual report of the Sheep Sustainability Framework was released at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo on July 15.

The report aims to deliver a transparent and data-driven snapshot of the sustainability performance of the nation’s sheep and wool industry.

Launched in April 2021, the SSF is the world’s first framework of its type for sheep and wool and was developed to clearly define sustainable production, prioritise industry issues and measure industry performance against relevant ethical, environmental, social and economic measures.

SSF sustainability steering group chair and livestock veterinarian Scott Williams said the annual report would help industry to better understand its opportunities, challenges, successes and impacts, while allowing it to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable production and continual improvement.

“Australia has taken a globally significant leadership role in sustainable sheep and wool production by developing the first framework of this type,” Dr Williams said.

“The SSF will help industry capture a thorough, data-driven understanding of how we are performing, and we are excited to share the first annual report with our consumers, customers and value chains.

“This is an important moment for Australian sheep and wool businesses and one that will help to inform and support future priorities and investment to deliver on our vision of sustainably producing the world’s best sheepmeat and wool, now and into the future.”

The SSF is underwritten by 41 indicators spanning the four key themes of ‘caring for our sheep’, ‘enhancing the environment and climate’, ‘looking after our people, our customers and the community’ and ‘ensuring a financially resilient industry’.

During the past 12 months, data has been collected to inform the report through projects including a national animal husbandry survey, a life cycle analysis and the development of a sheep grazing seasonal groundcover model using satellite data.

Dr Williams said it was fitting the first annual report be presented at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show — the largest event of its type in the world.