Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Target 100 - Sustainable Cattle & Sheep Farming by 2020



Australian cattle & sheep farmers and others in the industry have recently united under the banner of Target 100, an initiative aimed at delivering sustainable cattle and sheep farming by 2020.  I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of this exciting new project, held at Justin North's Sydney restaurant Etch.


Together they have set a goal of 100 development, research and extension projects funded through their industry bodies to continually improve their sustainability. In short, it involves a pledge to the land - a commitment aimed at improving it and reducing resources throughout the red meat supply chain.



Overall, the industry continues to invest about $13 million each year to reduce the environmental impact of cattle and sheep farming through various research and development programs. Target 100 aims to further develop this commitment by connecting with consumers to share knowledge, increase awareness and promote ethical farming action.


During the launch, we hear from Professor Tim Flannery who discusses the connect between thinking about where our food comes from and the effect of farming it, highlighting the positive impact Target 100 will have on our environment.


We also hear from Queensland farmer Stuart Barrett, a fifth generation farmer responsible for a 7000 hectare farm in Drumburie. His passion for the land is evident and his commitment to looking after and improving the land and his dedication to animal welfare is refreshing. Stuart also talks about new tools for communication and how social media is now helping to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers, providing an excellent framework for discussion.

Celebrity chef Justin North greets us over lunch and affirms his commitment to Target 100 and how he believes educating the consumer about using the whole 'beast' when cooking is paramount to sustainability within the Australian cattle and sheep industry.


Justin discusses the use of secondary cuts of meat to avoid waste and how many of the popular cooking shows have helped to promote home cooking and propel a fascination of food in the community. As such, he believes educating the consumer is extremely important when it comes to utilising secondary cuts. To help illustrate this, we are served a beef two ways - one of which is slow roasted beef brisket - it is divine and just melts in the mouth. Justin, points out how cooking secondary cuts of meat like brisket takes time and that many consumers are put off by this - However, he is quick to highlight that this is simply downtime - time we can enjoy doing other things whilst our delicious feast cooks itself.

This, I like the sound of! Bring on the brisket cooking - a trip to my butcher is definitely in order.



Some of you may remember my story last year on sustainable tuna and how making informed choices about how our food is produced is vital to protect our future food sources. I am a strong supporter of such initiatives and there are many things we can all do a home to help support Target 100. These include the following:
  • Get online and visit the Target 100 website - check out some of the 100 initiatives - These involve water, climate, economic, social, ethical farming, waste initiatives and many more;
  • Connect with farmers and other supporters through Target 100 on Twitter and Facebook;  
  • Grow your own herbs - adding flavour to meals, saving time, money and preventing food waste;
  • Be mindful of packaging -try to avoid buying overly packaged food and if buying in bulk divide portions into reusable packaging for freezing or storing;
  • Make your own stock - using leftover vegetables, meat cuts and/or bones to make a stock that can be frozen for later use;
  • Use your freezer more to store bulk foods like meat to help prevent wastage;
  • Plan ahead - plan your weekly meals as well as your shopping list before you visit the supermarket to avoid multiple trips and wastage;
  • Make your own gravy - use the juices from your roast meat to make your gravy - it prevents waste and it tastes SO much better;
  • Start a compost bin - the average household bin in Sydney is reported to contain approximately 6kg of compostable waste each week, which in effect, contributes to landfill and subsequently methane. Pete and I purchased a worm farm last year and our compostable waste feeds them which in turn creates a fantastic by-product (worm-tea). Our vegetable and herb garden love it.


To find out more check out the Target 100 website here
Twitter : @Target100AUS

Tell me, do you often cook at home using secondary cuts of meat? What is your favourite recipe?

The Food Mentalist attended the launch of Target 100 thanks to Koby Geddes / Social@Oglivy


Photos: Source - Esteban - On behalf of Meat & Livestock Australia




8 comments:

SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) said...

That's a great list of tips we can all use a home to cook more sustainably. Lovely pictures and lovely post!

muppy said...

great post, really interesting to read.

The Food Mentalist said...

Thanks girls x

Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff said...

Wonderful initiative. I can only hope that America's meat industry will get on board with a similar plan. I can't help but be skeptical, though, considering the farming conditions that are currently allowed to pass as "USDA-approved"...

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

Great post. I do much of what you recommend but not enough. I'll work harder. :) What a great event to be a part of.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a great initiative! And I just have to say great photos too Erin! :D The pic of them finishing up the plate at the pass is gorgeous :)

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

What a wonderful initiative. And some great tips there too. I already do a few of these things. Growing our own herbs and making my own stock are some great things to start with as they are quite simple. Lovely photos of this event too, especially the photos from the pass :D

The Food Mentalist said...

Lorraine, Jennifer - Agreed! Esteban took some wonderful photos on behalf of MLA. Was a great day and such a fantastic initiative.

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