Sustainability Benefits of New Zealand’s Grass-fed Beef and Lamb
Beef and lamb farming is often considered to be an environmentally unfriendly practice, but over here in New Zealand, we know a better, more natural way to raise livestock that is always striving to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. That’s why we work together with our farmers to ensure we are making the right choices that lead to increased productivity, reduced carbon emissions, cleaner water, thriving biodiversity, and healthy, productive soils.
We know that we can’t feed the world, but we are committed to producing more from less while improving our environmental footprint. From 1990 to the present, sheep numbers have fallen from 50 million to 27 million, however we have maintained similar levels of production through large strides in efficiency and improved farming practices. This has caused major eco-efficiency benefits including a 21 percent reduction in nitrate leaching per kg of saleable product and improved greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Since 1990, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 30 percent and are on track to be carbon neutral by 2050. Farming our livestock on open pasture on a grass-fed diet all day, every day, makes this goal possible.
Water is crucial to every step in our farming. We are committed to cleaner water that will keep our animals and grass healthy, while also benefiting the surrounding community. To do this, our farmers actively manage their properties by planting trees to prevent erosion and utilize riparian planting which uses native vegetation to protect waterways.
In 2018, research based on satellite mapping found that nearly 25 percent of New Zealand’s native vegetation and 17 percent of New Zealand’s native forest is on sheep and cattle farms. The majority of this is regenerating native forestry which sequesters carbon, a process that slows the accumulation of greenhouse gases. We understand the incredible benefit our native vegetation and forest gives us to raise animals in the most natural way while also supporting biodiversity and protecting our native species.
Healthy, Productive Soils
Good soil is the key to good grass and the best grass-fed beef and lamb you can find. Our farmers work to closely match land use to soil potential and capability, while also improving soil health, carbon content and productivity while decreasing soil loss. All of this makes for sustainable farming practices that ensure we can continue to raise the highest quality and most natural grass-fed beef and lamb on the market for decades to come.