Australian agriculture prides itself on being clean and green. Maintaining trust in this identity is a significant challenge. This is particularly true for the Australian cattle industry, as achieving, and demonstrating, sustainability requires clear insight into the perceptions and preferences of diverse community and consumer expectations. My Honours research indicates internal cattle industry stakeholders may hold strong views of public, and specific stakeholder groups’ perceptions of the industry and its environmental performance. Similarly, some external stakeholders hold strong and potentially hostile attitudes towards the cattle industry. Negative perceptions are likely to impact on trust and confidence in the industry. However, emerging UQ research (including my Honours work) has indicated that these perceptions and attitudes may not be based on reliable information or rigorous research. Addressing this information and communication challenge across stakeholders is essential as community support is necessary for the vitality and growth of the industry. This research will focus on understanding the issue of communication between industry and diverse communities to maintain industry’s ‘social licence to operate’. Using mixed social science methods, including in depth interviews Australia wide, this research will identify issues and opportunities for information provision and communication pathways, in order to inform industry sustainability initiatives.

Funding: Research Training Program; Meat and Livestock Australian Postgraduate Scholarship

Advisors: Dr Bradd Witt, Dr Justine Lacey

Project members

Taylah FAULKNER

PhD Candidate