From Great Barrier Reef to Lake Eyre Basin: one Aussie icon helping another
A best practice program developed to help graziers farm alongside the Great Barrier Reef is now being used by outback graziers to build the resilience and productivity of producers and communities.
Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, OBE Organic, has pioneered a partnership with Grazing BMP to extend the program from the Fitzroy Basin, where it was developed, to western Queensland to help producers pinpoint what they can do to build productivity and profitability.
OBE Organic has delivered its latest OBE Organic Grazing BMP Forum to a bumper crowd of 24 outback graziers managing 7.25 million hectares and over 70,000 head of cattle who attended two days of best practice benchmarking and training in Birdsville on 27-28 September.
OBE Organic General Manager Dalene Wray told producers Grazing BMP is also very useful for capturing on-farm sustainability information.
“The Meat Industry Strategic Plan aims to build efficiency and integrity in the red meat industry, and central to both of those goals is having better data and information along the industry’s supply chains,” Ms Wray said.
“OBE Organic has developed a sustainability program called FLOURISH in the past 18 months to identify and manage the opportunities and risks we see right along our value chain, with the aim of making us more likely to achieve our mission and more likely to maximise returns to organic cattle producers.
“An important part of our value chain is of course cattle properties, and at Birdsville we’ve spoken to producers about how the existing information already captured in organic management plans or collected by Grazing BMP is a powerful asset for monitoring performance and telling our stakeholders what we are doing well and what we are trying to do better.
“We’ve also asked producers to think about starting to share a little bit of this information with OBE Organic so we can tell that story without them having to fill in extra forms or surveys – it’s just part of good business.”
All OBE Organic employees have been involved in developing FLOURISH using an internationally recognised sustainability standard, and the company aims to slowly build the rigour of the program over time as people become accustomed to using sustainability to manage risk, improve productivity, or find new value.
An additional day of NRM Hub spatial mapping training in Birdsville today has attracted 19 participants, underlying the massive demand to make better use of data in remote Australia.
OBE Organic is running Grazing BMP forums and training every six months to continually improve beef industry performance, and to raise awareness of the need for more organic cattle suppliers to meet demand.
Organic producers wanting to sell cattle or participate in the OBE Organic Grazing BMP Forum can contact Livestock Coordinator Ross Mackenzie on 0409 960 084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay up-to-date with news and information about organic beef production, join the Organic Beef Producer Forum on Facebook which has over 400 members, or follow OBE Organic on twitter
About OBE Organic. OBE Organic is Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, established by a group of family farmers. It sources certified organic cattle from Queensland, NSW, and South Australia. OBE Organic helps organic beef producers flourish by providing consistently high organic premiums, tool to improve producer’s profitability, and support for producers to convert to organic. OBE Organic’s safe and nutritious organic grassfed beef is sold to rapidly growing markets in Australia, Asia, North America and the Middle East.
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About Grazing BMP. Grazing BMP is a government and industry-funded voluntary online self-assessment and planning tool. It benchmarks graziers’ current grazing and business practices against an industry-developed set of standards, compares their performance to peers, and automatically creates action plans for improvement in areas that are below industry average. The Grazing BMP program is a partnership between AgForce, Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. For more information visit www.bmpgrazing.com.au