Industry-led best practice only way to preserve the environment and Reef

Industry-led best practice only way to preserve the environment and Reef

Opinion
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Grazing and Grains BMP partners will meet this week to discuss how to drive agribusiness, sustainability and environmental outcomes.

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This will be an exciting yet challenging week for AgForce, as we meet with our partners in the Grazing and Grains BMP (Best Management Practice) programs.

The BMP Partnership - AgForce, Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) - will discuss how we can continue to drive agribusiness, sustainability and environmental outcomes through programs that encourage, assist and, ideally, reward producers who adopt global best practice in agriculture.

This is the first meeting of the alliance since AgForce made the heart-breaking decision to remove confidential data provided voluntarily by producers to ensure it could not be used for inappropriate reasons.

The challenge will be ensuring the other members understand why we did what we did - to protect our members - and that AgForce and industry remain committed to voluntary programs that drive world-leading on-farm innovation and practice change supported by fair, workable, science-based regulation.

With the Grazing and Grains BMP programs falling victim to a political agenda, we no longer have any confidence that these are the vehicles to achieve that.

The schemes developed and funded by government and industry over many years remain fully intact and operational should the government want to continue using them, but they have long since been diverted from their original purpose.

AgForce is already working on a 'Natural Capital' program that can not only replace but surpass BMP in terms of environmental and productivity outcomes and industry buy-in. We will have more on that soon.

We often say that farmers are the ultimate environmentalists - we care deeply for maintaining our unique landscapes, preserving our irreplaceable Reef and protecting a lifestyle steeped in nature.

That is why we have been asking - and continue to ask - government to collaborate with us to identify issues and develop practical, enduring solutions.

Industry cannot achieve environmental and productivity outcomes on behalf of the nation alone. We need the support of government, and they most certainly need producers on board.

That's why this week is exciting. Industry is looking forward to working more collaboratively with government to achieve real outcomes in terms of economic and environmental sustainability.

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