The recent Sustainability Report 2023 from OBE Organic provides a snapshot of our efforts to deliver on our mission, which is to help people lead better, healthier lives. The report shows that we take our commitment to people, animals, the environment and our product seriously. #obeorganic #obebeef #trueaussiebeef
Take a look at some of the highlights:
Sustainability at OBE Organic
With our headquarters in the Australian state of Queensland, OBE Organic supplies consumers and retailers in Australia and around the world with fully certified organic beef.
We have been formally managing sustainability through our FLOURISH sustainability program since 2015. When we discuss sustainability and our goals in this area, we are focused on four key pillars; people, products, our animals, as well as the environment.
We want the wellbeing of our team and the communities we support to be outstanding, which is why we focus on diversity & inclusion and the mental health of the people in our network (including our valued stakeholders).
Our business produces thousands of tonnes of nutritious, grass fed, certified organic beef each year. Our beef is:
- Free of antibiotics, added hormones, and genetically modified feed
- Raised on pastures free from chemical treatments.
The safety of our beef is assured by the Australian meat industry’s strong focus on food safety. The industry protects its reputation for producing clean, green and safe red meat products through a number of traceability and quality assurance programs.
Animal welfare is integral to our business strategy. Animal welfare for livestock on farm, during transport and at slaughter is a collective issue for the food industry as well as being an individual issue for each company in the industry. Making progress and raising standards across the industry with regards to animal welfare is everybody’s business.
At OBE Organic, we care about the world around us. As a company that does not own any land, cattle or facilities, our direct environmental impact is minimal. However, we know healthy landscapes create healthy food and work with our providers to ensure they follow best practices when it comes to the environment.
Landscapes are complex systems where everything is linked. Good grazing management preserves vegetation… which improves soil health, increases water retention, reduces erosion and stores more carbon in vegetation and soil.
Our producers are required to show evidence of good environmental management principles as part of their organic certification. Where possible, we seek to go beyond organic certification and proactively help producers to manage environmental risks and opportunities.
Highlights of our sustainability program include:
- In 2014, we became the first and only Australian beef company to adopt the UN Global Compact’s six Food & Agriculture Business (FAB) Principles.
- In 2019, we updated our sustainability strategy to focus squarely on what we need to do to achieve relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- In 2020, Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) recognised OBE Organic as a GOLD Accredited Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace & we were proud to present our very first report on our journey to becoming a Mentally Healthy Organisation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In 2020, we contributed to an important report by Meat Business Women, which establishes an international view on #genderinclusion in the meat industry. It draws on survey data from over 60 organisations across five countries. Read it here.
- In 2020, we contributed to an important Meat & Livestock Australia funded project. OBE Organic beef was tested for the innate origin fingerprints, focusing on trace elements and stable isotopes, which links them to our unique production region in the pure heart of Australia. The project validated and demonstrated that OBE Organic Australian beef can be scientifically distinguished from meat produced in other countries.
- In February 2021, we launched an initiative to #Save1000Lives with Red Cross Lifeblood. We asked all those eligible to sign up to our team and donate some liquid life. By December 2021, the initiative had already saved 504 lives, with 29 very special people donating for the first time.
- In May 2021, we joined a global campaign to change perceptions of careers in the meat industry. ‘She Looks Like Me’ showcases the breadth of roles and career options that exist in the meat supply chain and features images and video testimony from fifty women including a number who work in the OBE Organic supply chain.
In 2023 and beyond, improving supply chain resilience, growing and diversifying export markets, mitigating risk and harnessing opportunity will be key for OBE Organic, as the world collectively looks to recover from the business impacts of the pandemic.
Digital technology will play a critical role in our recovery, including adopting better systems for information flow. Whilst some of our peers will focus more on some work areas, our recovery will require a collaborative approach and communication between all participants as most actions will be complementary.
OBE Organic has committed to the following:
- Encourage the Australian Government to adopt policy supportive of our industry
- Contribute to the sharing of best practices across our industry
- Provide informed opinion to encourage constructive debate on industry matters
- Nurturing existing and developing new relationships with stakeholders
- Commit to capability development and training at all levels in our organisation
- Maintain positive working relationships with relevant Peak Industry Bodies to influence policy positions.
- Participate in relevant trials of new technologies.
A draft digital future plan has been developed to be a tool to help our people proceed with a common purpose in the face of complexity and disruption and truly advance our digital future. It involves a change in mindset backed by action. It is underpinned by continuous innovation and global and local partnerships.
We’re mindful of the challenges the world faces to feed a rapidly growing population expected to reach nine billion people by 2050. Food and agriculture companies have to play a role in meeting those challenges and we know that consumers want business leaders to talk more openly about topics like animal welfare and inequality.
For over 25 years, we’ve been developing competence and expertise in the management of a global organic beef supply chain that originates in the pure heart of Australia. Our sustainability report reflects our commitment to a positive future.
To read OBE Organic’s full Sustainability Report 2023, click here