Supply chain emissions in primary production

How are our supply chains responding to the challenge of reducing carbon emissions? Reducing on-farm and through chain emissions may make good business sense by increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.

Retailers and food processors are already looking to reduce emissions along their supply chain to:

  • save costs
  • capitalise on market opportunities
  • meet new trading requirements.

Increasingly, retailers are quantifying emissions through the chain from input suppliers to farming, transport, retail, product consumption and disposal. Some retailers are requesting this information from their suppliers. There is also significant activity underway by banks, financiers, insurers and other parties that service agriculture as they prepare for managing the risks of climate change and establish programs to reduce greenhouse emissions. Farm businesses that understand their farm emissions profile will be better prepared to respond to these external pressures and find new opportunities and markets.

Profitable farming involves growing more of what our domestic and export markets demand. While we may not be in control of the future mix of products we produce, we can make sure that our products are amongst the lowest emissions per unit of product.

Management options

Farm businesses that understand their farm emissions profile will be better equipped to capitalise on new market opportunities and respond to emerging supply chain and consumer pressures.

Keep accurate records on the inputs and outputs of the production system.

Use an on-farm greenhouse gas accounting tool to estimate the on-farm emissions. These are available across a range of industries including grains, sheep, beef, dairy, viticulture, vegetables and other horticultural enterprises.

Consider collaborating and understanding the needs of other members of the supply chain and any opportunities to reduce energy consumption (for example, potato producers can use a lot of energy keeping potatoes moist, which can then flow on to their processor by needing to use more energy to take that moisture out again).

Consider potential waste along the supply chain (spoilage can reduce the overall effectiveness of your emission reduction activities).

Keep across market news and trends in order to capitalise on new and emerging markets and reduce market impacts on your farm business:

  • Understand the complete supply chain from input suppliers to farming, transport, retail, product consumption and, finally, disposal.
  • Understand what retailers are asking their suppliers to do to reduce emissions and how this might affect your farm business.
  • Profitable farming involves growing more of what our domestic and export markets demand. While we may not be in control of the future mix of products we produce, we can make sure that our products are amongst the lowest emissions per unit of product.

More information

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Page last updated: 24 Aug 2021