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Tech-Savvy Farmers Reap Rewards: ESG Innovations Propel North Queensland Agriculture Forward

12 June 2024

Tech-Savvy Farmers Reap Rewards: ESG Innovations Propel North Queensland Agriculture Forward | Agtech Hub

Are you looking to make your farm more sustainable and profitable?

Ana Leite De Almeida has unveiled cutting-edge research on integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices into agriculture that promises to do just that.

TNQ Drought Hub Senior Research Officer and sustainability advocate, Ana Leite De Almeida presented at the Australian Society of Sugarcane Technologist (ASSCT) Conference in Townsville where she unveiled her ground-breaking research on the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices into Australian agriculture.

Working with producers and growers in North Queensland, Ana has developed an innovative framework and educational materials, including an ESG workbook designed to help farmers analyse, report on, and improve their operations. This framework offers a comprehensive blueprint for landholders, whether they are new to ESG or looking to enhance their existing practices.

Ms Leite De Almerida explains “Although ESG is not a new concept, its uptake in the Australian agricultural sector has been slow.

“The educational resources and materials we’ve crafted at the Hub provide a foundational ‘blueprint’ for landholders.

“They cater to those who are new to ESG practices and require guidance on how to start, as well as those who have already adopted them and are seeking avenues for improvement.”

With ESG becoming a critical factor in attracting investors and securing export opportunities, adopting these practices is essential for farmers looking to future-proof their operations. Ana’s work emphasises that sustainable, ethical, and responsible practices not only benefit the environment but also set up farmers for economic success in an increasingly competitive market.

Australian Cane Farms Limited, the largest sugar cane farm owner in Australia, piloted the ESG analysis workbook on their properties in the Burdekin Valley. Steve Kirby, Managing Director of ACF, highlighted the value of the ESG analysis in pinpointing areas for improvement, especially in environmental factors, which ultimately lead to better yields and financial outcomes.

“The process forced us to examine what we do and why we do it. With that knowledge comes the opportunity to explore how to ‘do it better’ both ethically and financially,” Mr. Kirby remarked.

The ESG resources are now available to the public, offering North Queensland farmers the tools they need to stay ahead in a market where sustainability is paramount. Ana’s research, presented at the 45th Annual ASSCT Conference, marks a significant step forward in the integration of ESG practices in agriculture, setting a new standard for the industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Innovative ESG Framework: Ana Leite De Almeida has developed pioneering educational materials and an ESG workbook to help farmers integrate and improve ESG practices on their farms.
  • Economic and Environmental Benefits: Implementing ESG practices leads to better long-term yields and financial outcomes, while also benefiting the environment.
  • Future-Proofing Agriculture: With sustainability becoming a core market focus, adopting ESG practices is essential for attracting investors and securing export opportunities.

Call to Action:

  • Farmers and landholders in North Queensland are encouraged to access the new ESG resources and start integrating these practices into their operations today.
  • Visit TNQ Drought Hub to learn more about ESG.

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