Twenty-one local graziers will be recognised for setting the benchmark for industry this month when they receive their Grazing BMP accredited producer certificates at a gala dinner held in Townsville.

The event marks the largest number of producers to be presented with Grazing BMP certificates at a dinner held in Queensland.  It also coincides with a milestone reached this week of more than one million hectares in the State under accreditation.

NQ Dry Tropics Grazing BMP co-ordinator Lisa Hutchinson said it was important for graziers to be recognised for setting new management standards.

“The Grazing BMP (Best Management Practice) program demonstrates good practices and stewardship to supply chain, consumers, community and government,” Ms Hutchinson said.

“It is a voluntary, industry-led process which helps graziers to benchmark their own practices, identify practices that can help improve the long-term profitability of their enterprise, and demonstrate their environmental and animal welfare standards.  

“This is the way forward – gone are the days of putting a bull and a cow in the paddock and hoping for the best.

“Efficiency is key and effective management systems provide the information people need to make good decisions.

“The society we live in requires a social license to operate. Business resilience can only occur when decision makers continually strive to improve  practices and operate at elite levels.

“It is no easy feat to gain Grazing BMP accreditation – it is arguably the most robust and rigorous of all the industry audits,” she said.

To become an accredited producer, a grazing business must first complete all five modules of the  self-assessment. The audit is conducted under ISO19011 Quality Management Standards by an auditor engaged by an external audit company.

A 100 percent compliance to the 56 core competencies of the audit criteria is required to become accredited.

“This industry-owned tool offers many opportunities to individual producers through training and support from NQ Dry Tropics and DAF,” Ms Hutchinson said.

The Grazing BMP program has been developed ‘by industry for industry’ in partnership between AgForce, the Fitzroy Basin Association and Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and  is funded by the Department Environment Heritage Protection. Grazing BMP is delivered in the Burdekin by NQ Dry Tropics, DAF and Agforce through one on one property visits, workshops and online.

The accreditation dinner is being held at the Watermark Townsville, on Saturday, June 10.

Photo: Some of the Burdekin’s  Grazing BMP  accredited graziers: Tracy & Ross Tapiolas, 6 Mile Creek Station; Jamie Gordon, Mt Pleasant Station; O’Briens, The Brook Station; and Shane and Kylie Stretton, Clancella Station.