Have you seen this?
Yes, it’s by Unilever. Yes, you’re entitled to be cynical and yes, I love it.
The global manufacturer and ice-cream maker has just accredited Australian dairy production as meeting its Sustainable Agriculture Code – a huge accomplishment, which is also a world first. Of course it doesn’t mean Australian dairying is perfect and Dairy Australia has published a Sustainability Framework that will nudge us all to do better.
Here on the farm, our family does a bite-sized project for the environment every year. We have:
- preserved 11 hectares of native forest for the environment
- audited our energy consumption
- removed tonnes of rubbish
- massively reduced our use of inorganic fertilisers by soil testing each paddock annually and making better use of the cow poo that collects on the dairy yard
- conducted days of weed control each year, plus this year’s removal of the big box thorns
- planted around 8,500 trees in five years
When I say “our family”, I have to stress that we haven’t been able to do all this without help. Grants from Landcare, Greening Australia and the Wellington Shire, work by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, together with the hard yakka of volunteers from the Victorian Mobile Landcare Group and some of our friends have made the tree planting possible.
It just goes to show what we can do when everyone pulls together.