Wool Producers Australia (WPA) and Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) have jointly released the world’s first Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF) to demonstrate sustainable practices, identify areas for improvement and better communicate with customers and consumers. It follows a year of close consultation with industry stakeholders and the broader community.
Developed by an industry-led Sustainability Steering Group, the framework lists 21 priorities across the four themes – caring for the sheep; enhancing the environment and climate; looking after the people, customers and the community; and ensuring a financially resilient industry, as per the SSF press release.
SPA chair, Chris Mirams, said there are significant opportunities available to Australia’s sheep industry as a result of the world’s growing interest and demand for sustainably produced fibre. “Increasing access to markets and investment, building confidence in the integrity of wool products, enhancing community trust and better rewarding industry are some of the opportunities we have as a result of this growing consumer interest.”
“To me, being transparent is the key to the Australian sheep industry seizing our opportunities and maximising the benefits. Having this industry-led Framework means that we will provide an open and honest picture of our high standards of practice and performance using the most appropriate and robust data available,” said Ed Storey, WPA president.
The framework will be addressed through a 3-year strategy with annual plans that will engage industry stakeholders and experts to tackle sustainability challenges for the industry.
“Constructive engagement via the formation of a Consultative Committee comprising industry and external stakeholders will ensure that we achieve our vision in the framework – that is sustainably producing the world’s best wool, now and into the future,” said professor Bruce Allworth, Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework Steering Group chair.
The Sheep Sustainability Framework will be a living document, subject to review and refinement so that remains relevant and meets the expectations of all stakeholders. This ongoing commitment to transparency, continual improvement, and engagement will ensure the Australian sheep industry remains a strong and important industry for its participants and its customers, the release said.