As Australia’s red meat industry strives towards its important goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 (CN30), Macka’s Pastoral is leading the way for medium-sized cattle businesses by achieving carbon neutrality through adopting carbon-building farming practices, measured against whole of farm emissions.

A fifth-generation family owned and operated business, Macka’s Pastoral supplies beef to both the domestic and export markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Macka’s Pastoral is believed to be among the first beef producers to achieve measured carbon neutrality without purchasing offsets, but by sequestering carbon into our soils through best practice farm management.

Macka’s Pastoral has demonstrated that on-farm production and productivity are increased from practices that build soil carbon, which also contributes to achieving carbon neutrality without the use of buying offsets or taking farm land out of production for large-scale tree planting.

Macka’s Managing Director, Robert Mackenzie, said it was a significant milestone for not only the family business and its customers, but the Australian red meat industry.

“As leading farmers, we fully understood that this is what we needed to aim for. We believe we have a responsibility to do the best for our family, our customers, the animals, the environment and the industry,” Mr Mackenzie said 

“Through the work we have done on-farm, we are providing the market with a set of sustainability credentials that supports the production of our product for the domestic and international markets. 

“Now, more than ever before, our customers not only want to know where their product comes from and all about traceability and food provenance, but they also want to know that it's sustainably and ethically produced and that the product they're purchasing is making a difference to the environment.”

Natasha Greenwood, CBA General Manager Agribusiness, said CBA has had a long and proud relationship supporting Macka’s family-owned business and its growth journey.

CBA’s support has helped Macka’s grow from an original family farm, to eight properties in the mid-north of NSW. Macka’s quest for carbon neutral production has underpinned their decision-making for every hectare and every cow.

Ms Greenwood said Macka’s tenacity and appetite to trial innovation demonstrates the many opportunities that the transition to a lower carbon footprint presents for agriculture.

“Momentum is building and we’re excited about these opportunities,” Ms Greenwood said. “The move towards valuing a lower carbon footprint is being consumer-led, supply chain-led, industry-led, and increasingly, producer-led by businesses such as Macka’s Pastoral.

“We understand that farmers are at different stages on their journey towards a lower carbon future and have different goals.

“We share our customers’ ambitions and we’re here to support them, wherever they are on that journey, with a comprehensive suite of sustainable financing solutions including Australia’s first Agri Green Loan, energy efficient equipment finance, sustainability-linked loans and carbon financing.”

Across a managed area of 3,975 hectares, Macka’s has increased its measured soil carbon through improved land management including, sowing of targeted multi species pastures, rotational grazing management and resting of paddocks, variable rate fertiliser application and mulching.

Soil carbon is critical for productive agricultural soils. Increasing the carbon dioxide absorbed out of the atmosphere (via pastures and trees) and into soils is a win-win for farmers and the environment.

Carbon balances were calculated according to the Australian National Inventory (2021), ISO 14060, which is an international standard for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, and PAS 2060, the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality.

Mr Mackenzie said he hoped that Macka’s achievements demonstrated to other family-owned operations that it can be done cost-effectively while delivering many productivity and resilience benefits for your system.

“We’re happy to tell the world that Australia produces the finest quality red meat, is driving sustainable agriculture and, as an industry, we are on track to becoming carbon neutral, and this is proof we are committed, and we are doing it.”

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