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Coles launches own brand of carbon neutral beef

Coles launches own brand of carbon neutral beef
Millie Ritchie, Toby Humphrey and Mark Ritchie at Delatite Station in Mansfield (Source: Coles)

Coles has launched its own brand of carbon-neutral beef – Coles Finest Certified Carbon Neutral Beef – a first for the Australian FMCG market.

The beef range will include seven premium quality cuts ranging from rib eye to porterhouse and is certified carbon neutral, from paddock to shelf.

In addition, the packaging for the new range is fully recyclable and made from 90 per cent recycled and plant-based material sourced from the supermarket’s packaging partner, Plantic.  

According to the supermarket chain, it has been working with beef farmers across Victoria and NSW over the past two years to help calculate and reduce their emissions, resulting in emissions 19 per cent below the country’s average.

The initiative helped reduce carbon emissions by using renewable energy, genetic selection to improve herd health, and changing management practices leading to efficient reproduction and maximising growth. 

The company has also been working with Dr Stephen Wiedemann, principal research scientist at Integrity Ag & Environment, to study innovative ways tree planting and vegetation can help reduce net carbon emissions on cattle farms through carbon sequestration. 

Carbon stored in trees will be included in the farm’s “carbon count”, which reduces the overall emission count associated with the farm’s production, also known as carbon insetting.

“The Coles carbon-neutral beef initiative, and the information we have gained along the way about how we can reduce carbon emissions on farms through better herd performance and tree planting, will be invaluable to farmers everywhere,” said Wiedemann. 

Coles CEO Steven Cain said the launch of Coles Finest carbon-neutral beef was an example of Coles working with its suppliers to achieve better sustainability outcomes.

“As part of our ongoing sustainability journey, Coles is exploring further opportunities to partner with our suppliers on sustainability initiatives, so we can ensure a better future for generations to come,” he said.

Aside from carbon sequestration and carbon-neutral beef farming, the company is purchasing Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) from the Armoobilla Regeneration Project in Queensland to help cover emissions involved in its supply chain ensuring that the range achieves a truly carbon neutral status.

The carbon-neutral beef is the first to pilot carbon insetting as part of the government’s Climate Active Program, a partnership between government and businesses to drive voluntary climate action. 

Coles Finest Certified Carbon Neutral Beef range is available in Victoria stores this week with a national rollout over the next year.

The range will carry the Climate Active stamp to help customers identify the certified beef on shelves. Climate Active certification is awarded to companies that reached a credible state of achieving net-zero emissions for their products, services, or other initiatives. 

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