Setting goals and targets with specific metrics that are measurable and time-bound is critical to showing, not just telling, consumers that the beef industry is committed to sustainability at every point in the value chain. That was the message delivered by Teys Australia’s chief sustainability offficer, Carl Duncan, to about 90 stakeholders who attended the recent Australian Beef Sustainability Framework Consultative Committee meeting in Brisbane. “Goals with specific metrics provide the data point for us to look at trends and talk about changes over time, and then through our commercial lens, tell the story of what our product and industry is doing,” Mr Duncan said. “Broad statements on sustainability just won’t wear in today’s environment.” His message was reinforced by Ruaraidh Petre, the executive director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Mr Petre said initial goal setting by the GRSB had involved a series of individual roundtable discussions with 24 member countries, to find overlapping issues. “The GRSB has set ambitious first goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving land use and animal welfare,” Mr Petre. “We needed to articulate our ambitions so that people realise we want to be part of the solution to some of the global problems.” Mr Duncan said Teys Australia had set its own targets and was now working with customers around the world to help inform the sustainability programs of the businesses. He urged industry to prioritise progress over perfection. “We all need to work towards good, realistic goals that are based on smart principles, and understand the value proposition of sustainability in things like lowering operating cost, maintaining market share, attracting premiums or avoiding discounts in some markets, and avoiding regulation,” he said. “It’s easy to get lost in the detail, but if we can articulate the challenges and acknowledge that some things are difficult to achieve, we’ll find a way to get things done.” With more than 500 members in 24 different countries responsible for more than two thirds of cross-border beef trade, Ruaraidh Petre said a key factor for the GBRS was recognising there are different solutions for sustainability in different systems.