For more information contact:
Ashlin Chand


Sustainability is at the core of the economic and social success of the sector. Our future is in selling safe, quality and environmentally sustainable products. Consequently, sustainability and the environment are key pillars of the Red Meat Sector Strategy 2020. 

 We are working to ensure a successful, resilient, and profitable sector through delivering on New Zealand’s climate change commitments and meeting increasing market demand for sustainable products.

As New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry our members face a multitude of issues around ensuring sustainable, environmental practices. Environmental policies around water use, water quality, emissions and discharge of waste need to be science-based, and economically, socially and culturally sustainable.

New Zealand is the first country that seeks to do something serious and effective about agricultural greenhouse gases, so that’s why we advocate for credible, evidence-based policy and regulatory decisions on climate change and the environment. We work to have a seat at the table so that the sector has a voice and is heard by key decision-makers and policy-developers. 

You can read more about the Making Meat Better Initiative here >



In 2022 MIA and Beef + Lamb NZ commissioned AgResearch to research the greenhouse gas footprint of New Zealand reared red meat. The comprehensive study found that a kilo of New Zealand sheepmeat has a carbon footprint of just under 15 kilograms (kgs) of CO2 equivalent emissions per kilo. Meanwhile, the carbon footprint of New Zealand beef is just under 22kgs– making the country’s red meat among the most efficient in the world.

The researchers, which compared New Zealand’s on-farm emissions to a range of countries’ footprints across the globe, concluded that when New Zealand beef or sheepmeat is exported, the total carbon footprint is lower or very similar to domestically-produced red meat in those nations.

This is because New Zealand is so efficient at the farm level, which represents about 90-95% of the total carbon footprint. New Zealand’s on-farm footprint was about half the average of the other countries compared in the study. 

The sector’s sustainability story

Since 1990, the sector

has reduced its gross emissions by over
30 percent

while increasing productivity and efficiency

Processors are committed to reducing and eventually

eliminating the use of coal by 2037.

We are among the most

sustainable, climate neutral producers

of red meat in the world

New Zealand lamb is “carbon neutral” using GWP* and sequestration 

New Zealand beef’s footprint is very low using GWP* – among the lowest in the world

From farm to table,

a kilogram of

New Zealand lamb has a carbon footprint of just under 15 kg of emissions

Meat processing activities

only contribute between 4-10% of the total carbon footprint of red meat

Our industry is taking steps to decarbonise by removing over 1.8 million tonnes of emissions – equivalent to taking 32,000 cars from our roads

Strategic priorities

MIA is focused on ensuring our members, and the sector, are well positioned to play their role in delivering on New Zealand’s climate change commitments and taking up the opportunity to meet increasing market demand for sustainable products. Consequently, there are several important streams of work:

  1. He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) – MIA is a part of the He Waka Eke Noa partnership to develop a pricing mechanism for agricultural emissions by 2025. Click on the Project Highlights below to access more information about the HWEN partnership and associated resources.
  2. Climate change strategy and action plan MIA is working with B+LNZ Ltd to develop a red meat sector climate change strategy and action plan. The strategy is under development but is intended to provide a framework to ensure that the sector is resilient and successful given the impacts of climate change. Click on the Project Highlights below to access more information about the climate change strategy and associated resources. 

Know Your Number

By the end of 2022 all New Zealand farmers running 80ha or more will need to know their farm’s greenhouse gas emissions and have a plan to monitor and measure their emissions.

To assist all meat processors to encourage farmers to using a GHG calculation tool and to ‘know their number’, some supporting material has been developed.

Latest Sustainability News

Barriers to International Trade

Gain an in-depth understanding of the complex and evolving trade and tariff environment
thatNew Zealand’s red meat processors and marketers operate in when exporting to over 110 countries.