The strategy addresses the long-term vision for the sector and B+L NZ has targeted two key areas as part of the plan to implement, such as: every sheep and beef farm having a tailored and active environment plan by the end of 2021; and the sheep and beef sector as a whole moving towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
“As a sector we have an opportunity for our sheep and beef farmers to be world-leading stewards of the natural environment and sustainable communities,” said Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+L NZ. “Sheep and beef farmers have made meaningful improvements to their environmental performance and lowering emissions and they deserve credit for these gains.”
As part of the strategy, the organisation will also help communities work together to combat environmental issues through the Collaborative Catchment Communities program and investing in new tolls and technology, as well as undertaking research.
B+L NZ added that it has made several decisions since the 1990s to improve carbon emissions among its livestock, such as cutting sheep numbers from 57.9 million to 27.6 million and cattle numbers declining by 23%.
“Absolute greenhouse gas emissions from sheep and beef farms are 30% below 1990 levels, while the sector’s contribution to GDP has doubled to $5 billion,” said B+L NZ chairman Andrew Morrison. “GHG emissions per kilogram of saleable product have dropped by 40% and nitrate leaching per kilogram of saleable product has declined by 21%. New Zealanders are concerned about the declining natural environment and there is no question our climate is changing.” B+L NZ recently revealed that it remained confident in its beef and sheep sector continuing to reduce carbon emissions, to help support the Australian regulatory body Productivity Commission’s environmental target.