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Beyond the Bale : Feb - Mar 08 Supplement
14 BEYOND THE BALE ECO-TRENDS SUPPLEMENT Woolgrowers can play an important role in the sustainable management of Australian landscapes by, for instance, enhancing the biodiversity of native pastures and rehabilitating damaged or degraded landscapes. AWI has been working with growers to meet growing demand for environmentally assured wool through a number of investments, such as the Land, Water & Wool natural resource management initiative and the Landleader program. These investments provide a potential launching pad for future marketing initiatives. The further extension of Landleader's extensive data collection, for example, could provide quantitative evidence of effective environmental management for woolgrowers to present to the global community. Land, Water & Wool was a $40 million national R&D program providing woolgrowers with practical tools to help manage natural resources sustainably and profitably. This investment over the past five years has put the Australian wool industry at the forefront of knowledge about sustainable grazing-land management. It involved collaboration between AWI, Land & Water Australia and 39 other research, educational and extension partners, addressing some of the major issues facing sustainable wool production including saline lands, native vegetation and biodiversity, rivers and water quality, and managing climate variability. Probably the biggest message to emerge from Land, Water & Wool is that improved land and water resource management can result in greater returns for woolgrowers as well as a healthier environment. Working closely with woolgrowers across Australia, Land, Water & Wool has generated new knowledge, built on existing understandings and developed practical tools and advice for on-farm management. ú More information: www.landwaterwool.gov.au WOOL PRODUCTION AND OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Australia is well placed to capitalise on growing consumer demand for environmentally assured wool -- but we are also under more scrutiny in our role as environmental and natural resource managers SUSTAINABILITY Tasmanian wool proves its green credentials Promoting Tasmanian wool's environmental, sustainable and natural qualities has been an important marketing strategy for Tasmanian woolbroker Roberts Ltd. Roberts marketing manager Eric Hutchinson says the ability to back up environmental and sustainability claims with independent, reliable information has also proved vital, and is where work by Land,Water & Wool has been important. "Using material from the project, we were able to help show potential and existing customers exactly what it meant to source wool from Tasmania. And from our point of view, as marketers, there's value in that. "It's always better to have independent, credible experts available to back up any environmental and sustainability claims we make.That's very important and we found real value in that." Managing for sustainable profit The findings contained in Land,Water & Wool's final report Managing for Sustainable Profit emphasise profitable production and sound management on those parts of properties that retain a strong natural element -- areas of native vegetation (including grasslands), pastoral rangelands, rivers and saltlands. In particular, the project has looked for ways that woolgrowers can make more money while improving the environment. Woolgrowers are encouraged to include Managing for Sustainable Profit and its key findings in their decision-making in the future. More information:To order a free copy of Managing for Sustainable Profit, call 1800 776 616 or visit www.landwaterwool.gov.au The investment in Land,Water & Wool has put the Australian wool industry at the forefront of knowledge about sustainable grazing management. PHOTO: LEONIE SCARLETT
Dec - Jan 08
Feb - Mar 08