Cattle Australia signs joint statement of priorities with US beef body

Cattle Australia Chair, Garry Edwards, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, Mark Eisele, have signed a Joint Statement of Priorities for Australian and American cattle producers.

Cattle Australia has joined the United States National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in signing a statement of priorities for Australian and American cattle producers.

CA Chair, Garry Edwards, signed the statement alongside NCBA President, Mark Eisele, at Beef2024 in Rockhampton, uniting their voices in calling on the Australian and US Governments to continue working together on key issues impacting cattle producers in both countries.

Mr Edwards said the signatory organisations are aligned in their commitment to ensuring global consumers continue to have access to world-leading, sustainably-produced beef.

“In signing the Joint Statement of Priorities, we are encouraging the Australian and US Governments to join forces in combating devastating foreign animal diseases; promoting sustainable global trade that encourages efficient production practices; and ensuring science-based food safety and marketing regulations of emerging food technologies such as lab-grown proteins,” Mr Edwards said.

“We greatly appreciate the commitment by both governments to address the growing transnational threat of foreign animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).

“Combating these devastating animal diseases is an effort that requires both national preparedness planning and international cooperation.

“We are calling for the urgent and continued investment in critical infrastructure and preparedness activities in each of our countries to protect against and ultimately respond to outbreaks of foreign animal disease.”

As stewards of approximately 50% of Australia’s land mass and 800 million acres of US wildlife habitat, unique landmarks and crucial ecosystems, respectively, the two organisations are calling on their governments to recognise the personal stake cattle producers have in protecting the environment.

“Cattle producers work hard to improve the quality of the air, water, and land while caring for the health of our animals, our families, and our local communities,” Mr Edwards said.

“We prioritise proper grazing of cattle because it improves soil health, leads to greater water retention, increases carbon sequestration, and reduces the risk of catastrophic bushfires. Without a doubt, healthy land and healthy water produce healthy cattle.

“Both the Australian and US beef industries are working hard to meet sustainability goals, and we encourage Government to continue promoting our efficient, science-based technologies and production practices that enable us to produce more beef with less resources.

“It is critically important that our Governments promote livestock production as an effective tool in land and resource management and a necessity for achieving climate improvement initiatives.”

The Statement also reiterates the importance of ensuring new technologies, such as lab-grown proteins, are properly vetted by regulatory authorities, to guard against potential risk to consumer and environmental health, or the compromise of consumer trust.

“Our Statement calls for regulatory authorities from both countries to ensure lab-grown proteins are clearly identified on packaging to limit consumer confusion,” Mr Edwards said.

“The growing global consumer base wants safe and nutritious beef that has been produced sustainably and efficiently – not something grown in a bioreactor.

“Both Australian and US grass-fed beef producers are incredibly proud of the work they do and committed to ensuring they leave a legacy of exceptional animal and environmental care, while producing the best beef in the world.

“Having the support of our governments and the right policy setting in place to support this is critical to our ability to deliver on this promise.”

Representing more than 175,000 cattle producers and feeders in the US, NCBA President, Mark Eisele, said the joint commitment will strengthen the partnership between American and Australian producers, and support the shared effort to educate the public on the benefits of raising cattle.

“America’s cattle farmers and ranchers stand with Australia’s cattle producers and look forward to being partners in combatting foreign animal diseases, promoting sustainability, and ensuring proper oversight of lab-grown proteins,” Mr Eisele said.

“As a rancher, I understand the importance of proactively talking about the good work we do in both countries, and we are proud to showcase the significant benefits cattle producers provide to the global population.”