Great Southern Celebrates Producers at 10th Anniversary of 'Producer of the Year' Awards

Press Release Jun 12, 2023
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Great Southern, Australia’s largest independently certified and premium grass-fed beef and lamb program, was delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Great Southern Producer of the Year Awards. On June 9, 2023, Great Southern recognised and awarded its prominent producers for exceeding the highest standards of safety and sustainable beef and lamb production.

JBS Australia’s Southern division, which operates the Great Southern brand, produces a range of premium beef and lamb products. Great Southern producers are underpinned by the JBS Farm Assurance program, a third-party certification program that was set up 12 years ago to certify producers’ raising claims. The Assurance program was the first of its kind, and today is the largest program in Australia that involves a world-standard, third-party audit of its livestock suppliers every 18 months. This audit certifies that the producer’s beef and lamb meet rigorous quality and sustainability standards, which is communicated to customers in-store via the Farm Assurance logo.

Chief Operations Officer of JBS Southern, Sam McConnell, said the awards night recognised the commitment of Great Southern and its top-performing producers to providing Australia with the highest quality red meat. 

“Our goal is to guarantee customer confidence that our meat is responsibly sourced and sustainably produced from grass-fed, free-range livestock across Southern Australia. Our awards night is about recognising and rewarding our producers for sharing this goal and passion with us,” said Mr. McConnell.

JBS Southern Livestock Manager Steve Chapman says Great Southern works closely with its engaged producers, together ensuring a product that is Australia’s best eating quality through great care in hand-selecting and rearing livestock.

“Great Southern has a fantastic relationship with its farmers, who have shown enormous commitment to our Farm Assurance Program. This commitment allows us to consistently deliver a product that tastes exceptional and is better for the consumer, the farmer, and the planet. We can be assured of our claims to be 100% grass fed and finished, free range, ABF free, GMO free and HGP free because of the rigorous standards set by our Farm Assurance program,” said Mr. Chapman.

JBS Southern Head of Sales Robert Ryan attributes Great Southern’s growing popularity with consumers to the market’s increased expectation of transparency across the value chain and assured sustainable production.

“Great Southern brands continue to fulfil increasing expectations for premium proteins produced by Australia’s best-in-class farmers. Our customers place utmost trust in the program’s guarantee, knowing they will consistently receive products of superior eating quality that were produced sustainably across all aspects of the value chain,” said Mr. Ryan.

The Producer of the Year Awards event featured a Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Grading Session. MSA, a world leader in grading eating quality for beef and sheep meat, has judged all Great Southern-branded beef and lamb to be within the top 10% percentile of MSA requirements. The event also featured workshops, seminars, industry updates and insights, live boning techniques and chefs demonstrations.

JBS Global Chief Sustainability Officer Jason Weller addressed the producers, providing insights on global trends and progress on sustainability initiatives across the company. JBS continues to take significant strides in aligning its business with its customers’ expectations for a more sustainable future. 

The Farm Assurance Program includes an index, which indicates where producers are placed compared to peers in relation to JBS’s seven pillars of sustainability. The seven pillars are:

  • Soils: Understanding soils and the importance of a healthy balance
  • Pastures: Matching the right mix of pastures to the environment they are grown in
  • Vegetation: Protecting soil coverage, assisting in maintaining healthy waterways, and recognising current and past efforts
  • Water: Ensuring the use of quality water and managing the water usage for maintaining stock health and maximising animal and plant production
  • Livestock: Ensuring the wellbeing of livestock is of paramount importance
  • People: Providing a healthy and safe workplace environment for employees, families, and owners
  • Carbon management: Assessing the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the Great Southern value chain to enable a working baseline for improvement. Achieving a net zero position for Great Southern Farm Assurance in line with the global JBS target of net-zero GHG emissions by 2040

The awards night saw over 500 dedicated farmers out of the 3,000 JBS Farm Assured properties across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania come together in celebration of the leading program. 

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