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National NRM Conference

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Sustainable Agriculture

Our team was lucky enough to attend the 8th National NRM conference a few weeks back, hosted by our friends at South West Catchments Council in Margaret River.

Some of the highlights for us were a field trip, hosted by the Lower Blackwood Council to a multi-species cover crop, followed by a trip to Glenarty Road Winery, where we learnt about how they manage a diverse range of sustainably produced food and wine. 

We heard from Barry Irvin, Chair of Bega Cheese, who spoke about the circular economy vision that Bega is striving for. This circular economy concept has sustainability at its core, and objectives that ensure that products, materials, and resources are kept in the economy as long as possible, to ensure waste is minimalised. We believe that this framework will be essential for the sustainability of Agriculture and unlock significant value and resilience for regional communities in the future.

Dr Toby Kiers from SPUN (society for the protection of underground networks) gave a very inspirational talk about the importance of Mycorrhizial fungi.  It truly does play a significant role in regulating earth’s climate, ecosystems, and she recognised the potential role it can play in the future of carbon farming and increasing agricultural production, if we collectively chose to protect this resource.

Another highlight, was hearing from the team at Burnett Mary regional group (BRMG) and DR Ken Henry (Accounting for Nature), speak about their combined efforts in measuring natural capital throughout the entire Burnett Mary region. These guys have helped move Australia to the forefront of the global race to create methodologies for large scale natural capital accounting. It comes at a perfect time, with reports suggesting that global consumers of Australian agriculture products are exponentially increasing the reward for producers that exhibit social and environmental practices (Farming For the Future Report, PWC).

The work from the BRMG team has inspired us to explore opportunities that accounting for nature may have on rewarding our Wheatbelt farmers whom are producing sustainable food whilst simultaneously looking after their natural environment.

Bega Circular Economy


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Published in Farming in Focus, December 2022