Australia's red meat industry is on a good footing to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
The initiative trying to achieve that is called CN30 and its manager Margaret Jewell said the red meat industry are seeing the benefits in wanting to achieve carbon neutrality.
"There's lots of benefits in regards to market access, potentially with access to some overseas markets," Ms Jewell said.
"We want to maintain the good market access that we've got now and ensure that we can continue to access those same markets in the future.
"We also think it will just enable us to maintain strong community and consumer support in our industry."
Ms Jewell had made the comments during a field day in the north east community of Warrenbayne, south of Benalla, where she gave a presentation on the status of the CN30 initiative and the role of farm forestry in Carbon sequestration.
She outlined that there was growing evidence that banks were starting to ask red meat industry customers for evidence of environmental stewardship credentials in return for access to capital.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas visited Mt Lavinia Farm, Gippsland to launch a three-year pilot program that will work with up to 250 farm businesses across Victoria to measure, manage and reduce their on-farm emissions.
The program will be undertaken over nine rounds and cover industries like beef, dairy, grains, poultry and sheep.
Ms Thomas said there was an eagerness from farmers to learn how to cut emissions but fully didn't have information needed on how to do so.
"Victoria is well positioned to be a leader in low emissions agriculture and this program will further help farmers to ensure Victorian agriculture continues to be productive and profitable under a changing climate," Ms Thomas said.
She made the comments while visiting the Mt Lavinia farm located in Tarwin Lower, in southern Gippsland
Mt Lavinia Farm owner Rob Liley said it was time farmers to take part in the process of reducing carbon emissions.
"I am excited about the pilot because while I believe producers are part of the climate change problem, I also believe we can be part of the solution in reducing emissions," he said.
Participants will receive a free emissions assessment giving them an insight into their farm's greenhouse gas emissions, while $5 million worth of grants will help participating farmers to develop an action plan to reduce emissions and implement them.
According to Ms Jewell, steps like these was an indication, that "climate change is a real thing" and "that our industry are going to have to adapt some of the species that are growing for pastures in certain areas."
"We want to make sure we can continue to produce really healthy and high quality red meat into the future," she said.
While Ms Jewell said there had been a lag in some data regarding how much the red meat industry was on target to carbon neutrality, the 2018 data was promising.
"There was a 53 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005," she said.
"That was mainly due to vegetation management, [with] a reduced clearing and increased regrowth."
Ms Jewell said there will be hopefully more promising 2019 data regarding the CN30 targets coming out soon, but she also forecasted that there was still a lot of work to do for the red meat industry.
She highlighted that MLA have invested $140 million in emissions reduction but said while Australia was forging a path, global aspirations were slightly lagging.
"We expect that we'll at least be wanting to invest at least another $100 million, but I also think it's... a global problem, and so it'd be great if the globe got together and try to address this problem.
"If you throw enough money at something like a COVID vaccine, it can be really successful.
"I think if there's if there's money available, we'll be able to spend it on trying to get these technologies developed and into market quicker," she said.
Ms Jewell also said that at a fundamental level, farmers and producers are being more acceptable to how carbon neutrality can benefit their operations.
During her presentation she mentioned that carbon was a really fundamental component of what the livestock industry was trying to grow and a simple but effective began with farmers keeping a carbon account.
"My focus at the moment is trying to get producers to understand that first and foremost we're trying to improve their businesses prosperity and long term sustainability, economic and environmental sustainability," she said.
"In doing activities related to that, then ultimately they're very likely to be reducing their net emissions."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.