Climate-friendly meat: High demand for sustainable beef


Shoppers' demand for environmentally-minded meat could play a bigger role in which packet of meat they pick off the supermarket shelf.

A Rabobank report, Unlocking Climate-Friendly Meat, shows a growing global focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions will drive changes in the red meat sector, with the market, not regulators, the catalyst for change.

Rabobank senior animal protein analyst Angus Gidley-Baird said it wasn't a matter of whether livestock was a contributor to climate change or not, but rather "how a climate-friendly meat will be worked through the supply chain".

"There is a general societal push for better environmental outcomes," Mr Gidley-Baird said.

"There is already research showing consumers are conscious about their purchasing decisions. That being said, there's going to be a limit to the opportunities for a price premium, such as there is with organic beef, or grass-fed beef.

"The benefits being derived are social benefits."

The use of tailored programs with certain specifications, similar to grass-fed and organic programs, could allow stakeholders to produce lower-emission red meat without having to undertake emission measurements.

"Instead of having to measure on-farm emissions, livestock owners could participate in a dedicated supply chain with a program that uses a technology or process that has demonstrated emission benefits," Mr Gidley-Baird said.