Beef Central

The National Farmers’ Federation and Red Meat Advisory Council is seeing red at the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and has urged the Government to do its best to stop uninformed and alarmist outcomes being supported.

The United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), Pre-Summit underway in Rome and online this week, is advocating a so-called UN-backed international dietary framework that ‘allows’ for the consumption of no more than 14g of red meat per day – equivalent to the size of three blueberries.

The NFF, on behalf of Australia’s livestock sector is working closely with the Global Meat Alliance, the Global Dairy Platform and other nations, who share our concerns, in responding to the UNFSS.

“The Summit seems dogged in its efforts to make livestock production the scapegoat for the globe’s climate change challenges and to drive a reduction in meat consumption,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

“The NFF is bewildered as to why this forum has been created as the new home of international dialogue on food and climate matters, when up until now the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations had been the logical place. The Summit does not adhere to normal negotiations by sovereign nations under the banner of the UN.

“Unbelievably the Summit’s process has been largely informed by the extreme activist start-up EAT Lancet.

Mr Mahar said the NFF’s goal was to ensure the Federal Government did not endorse the outcomes of this questionable UN talkfest and to influence the debate to incorporate a balance of views.

“Accordingly, we call on the Government to make the important points to the Summit that 1) animal agriculture has an essential role to play in global sustainable healthy and nutritious diets and 2) animal agriculture is sustainable and continues to work to improve its environmental credentials.

“The Australian Government must promote and resource farm voices to counter extreme non-sensical positions peddled by fringe groups which have somehow managed to get a seat at this global decision-making table. The future of Australia’s agricultural exports relies on it,” Mr Mahar said.

Red Meat Advisory Council chair John McKillop said a global network of anti-livestock and anti-meat activsts had hijacked the United Nations forum.

“It is a disgrace that the UN has chosen to provide a platform for extremist’s proposals to end livestock production and prevent consumers from eating meat.

“Australia’s red meat and livestock industry has done more to reduce emissions and foster environmental stewardship than any other sector in the nation.

“Instead of attacking our hardworking graziers and meat workers, the UN should be promoting our industry’s world-leading practices.

“Proposals for taxes on steaks and for people to eat algae instead of meat are not only absurd, they are a danger to consumers’ health.

“Red meat is one of the safest and most nutrient-dense foods available, providing a critical source of sustenance to millions of Australian families.”