Vision, passion and innovation has helped a small Oakleigh company lay claim to becoming the world’s first fully carbon neutral meat supplier.
Flinders + Co has smashed the Australian meat industry’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, offsetting emissions for its entire operations including every kilogram of meat in its supply chain.
It’s a huge achievement for a company that started with a rundown lamb abattoir on Flinders Island in 2011 and now supplies gourmet lamb, beef, pork and poultry to some of the country’s most exclusive restaurants.
Managing Director James Madden, 28, who runs the company with his father David, said their meat now had a real marketing edge, allowing chefs to spruik its environmental credentials to discerning diners.
The achievement marks a milestone in James’ ongoing commitment to lead meaningful change in an industry under increasing scrutiny.
“I want to be able to look back on my career and say I achieved something more than just how many tonnes of meat we processed through a factory,” he said.
Flinders + Co demands high standards from its network of producers to fulfil its bold vision: to cultivate a better food world.
James, whose family has a proud farming background, began researching consumer habits, attending industry innovation programs and engaging experts to bring that vision to life.
He hired consultants to study the company’s carbon footprint and implemented suggested changes like switching operations to 100 percent renewable energy.
The company also invested in carbon offsets including a project in Kenya where poor families receive water purification units so they don’t have to boil water to drink.
Consultants then began to analyse the entire supply chain to calculate how to offset suppliers’ emissions and inspire other companies, including a major pork producer, to examine and reduce their own carbon footprints.
A beef producer which converted its coal-fired boiler to one that uses pyrethrum briquettes (a byproduct from daisies farmed to produce pyrethrum insecticide) contributed with carbon offset credits..
Now James is looking to implement more environmentally sustainable practices, including a trial to eliminate cleaning chemicals and ways to reduce the industry’s reliance on plastic.
Monash Council has nominated the company to enter the FIAL Innovations Book for 2019, which recognises leaders in the food and agribusiness sector.
Mayor Cr Shane McCluskey said the city was proud to have such a visionary company within the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster area.
“Flinders + Co exemplifies forward-thinking businesses in this Cluster who contribute billions every year to the Victorian economy,” Cr McCluskey said.