Agriculture industry experts are predicting sustainable environmental management and animal welfare to become increasingly important considerations for farmers over the next decade. Around the world governments are imposing greater sustainability expectations, however it is believed that new technology and consumer demands for environmentally friendly practices will be the drivers of change.  Producers are expected to address environmental issues such as livestock methane emissions, biodiversity, soil and water quality in order to remain competitive. Internationally many meat businesses are already acknowledging these demands. For example, Canadian company Maple Leaf Foods are committed to halving their environmental footprint by 2025. There is also ample evidence to show that consumers are willing to pay higher premiums for sustainable food. At the recent International Farm Management Conference, ACCC Deputy Chair, Mick Keogh discussed the reasoning for this trend. Keogh explained that consumers “want quality, safety, integrity, and they want to know about the production systems and input use that comes with the food they purchase.” As sustainability expectations increase, so does relevant farming innovation and technology. For example, feed additives to reduce cattle methane outputs and tractors powered by effluent methane harvested by producers. New technology and products such as these will assist farmers to adjust to the changing market demands.

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