A beef webinar series focusing on improving sustainability within Northern Ireland's beef industry is set to start tonight (May 20). The series of four webinars is run jointly by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), College of Agriculture; Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE); Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC); Northern Ireland Meat Export Association (NIMEA); National Beef Association (NBA); and Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU). The webinars are specifically tailored for farmers and will focus on farming methods and innovations that can further increase the sustainability of the local beef industry. Speakers will include farmers, industry representatives, researchers and advisers. Themes to be discussed include production efficiency, environmental sustainability, resilience and supply chain.

The first webinar will take place tonight (May 20), will highlight how the results of recent scientific studies can be implemented at a farm level to deliver sustainable levels of beef production from grass.

AFBI’s soil, agronomy and sustainable livestock production scientists will indicate how nutrients can be best harnessed on-farm to produce beef in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

Other sessions in the beef webinar series

The second webinar on June 17, will address the issue of resilience within beef production systems. The key focus of this webinar will discuss how beef farms can become resilient from a financial perspective. Two local farmers will also outline how they have future-proofed their businesses by introducing an alternative enterprise to their farm or gaining off-farm employment. Both farmers will share their decision-making process and the challenges they encountered whilst adopting their decision.

The third webinar, which will take place in September, will discuss what sustainability is from a beef farmer’s perspective, highlight the research carried out to support industry expectations and provide solutions which can help farmers be both more profitable and deliver improved environmental sustainability.

The fourth, and final webinar, will take place in October and will demonstrate sustainable beef supply chain initiatives in practice and how it is responding to demands from the consumer for sustainable food. The series of webinars will take place on Thursday evenings at 8:00p.m online via Zoom. Pre-registration on the UFU website for the event is essential.