Beef and the bush

Beef and the bush

Most of Queensland’s beef producers are already deforestation-free

While the majority of deforestation in Queensland is linked to beef production, not all beef production is linked to deforestation - far from it. 

In fact, the majority of the land under beef production has been deforestation-free for the last five years. This means a minority of producers are responsible for Queensland’s large-scale deforestation. 

Beef and bulldozing: the facts

We now know that 73% of all deforestation and land clearing in Queensland is linked to beef production*. And in Great Barrier Reef catchments, 94% of deforestation and land clearing is linked to beef production**. But detailed analysis shows that it is a minority of producers responsible for the large rates of deforestation. 

This is great news: it shows that it’s possible and achievable for corporations who buy and sell beef to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains.

Of beef lots in Queensland***: 

  • 68% have been completely deforestation-free in the last 5 years
  • 80% are free of remnant deforestation (the removal of mature forest) in the last 5 years
  • 84% have no deforestation greater than 5 hectares in the last 5 years
  • 94% have no remnant deforestation greater than 5 hectares in the last 5 years
***Please note, a Lot is a parcel of land. In some cases, a single property is contiguous with a single Lot. In other cases, multiple Lots make up a single property. The reason we have chosen to use Lots as the unit of analysis is because that is the most accurate, publicly accessible database available.

All Land ClearingRemnant Clearing
Lots linked to beef with clearing32%20%
Lots linked to beef with >5ha clearing
16%6%
Lots linked to beef with >10ha clearing12%4%
Lots linked to beef with >100ha clearing4%1%
“Land clearing” is the reduction or complete removal of native forest and bushland. “Remnant” is previously untouched forest and bushland.

A minority of producers are responsible for large-scale deforestation

There are currently 54,242 lots linked to beef production in Queensland. The large-scale clearing (greater than 100 hectares) is caused by just 4% of them. 

Research conducted by the Wilderness Society has identified the beef supply chain as having the greatest exposure to deforestation risk in Queensland. Deforestation risk is defined as the financial, reputation and brand damage that could flow from a company’s activities being linked to deforestation.

Source: Drivers of deforestation and land clearing in Queensland report | The Wilderness Society