Coal clothing, coal pizza and coal food are just some of the foods Australia’s most elite can eat, and are on a growing list of dishes to be made from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.
The country’s biggest meat processor, the Cairns-based Tyson Foods, has announced it is selling some of its beef burgers and sausage to a Chinese restaurant in an effort to combat the rising carbon footprint of its meat products.
“In the last 12 months, we’ve had over 600 announcements by industry, industry-led and government initiatives around reducing our footprint,” Tyson Foods chief executive James McQuaid said.
“As a result, we’re seeing a lot more innovative ways of looking at the carbon footprint.
It’s a challenge to the industry to meet our commitments, but we’re really focused on delivering high-quality food and great service.”
Tyson Foods plans to buy up to 100,000 tonnes of coal from its Cairn mine and move the coal to a plant in Sydney.
Mr McQuarens said it was important to use the coal in its meat, to produce more protein, and to reduce the impact of the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of the coal.
“When we do this, we create an ecosystem for our community that’s sustainable,” he said.
Cairns is one of the largest coal mines in Australia.
It produces between 400 and 700 tonnes of the material used in the production of meat and poultry and about 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
Tyson Foods has been a major player in Australia’s beef industry for more than 30 years.
Its first Australian product was a bacon-fried beef sandwich, which it sold in Victoria in 2002.
It has also become one of Australia’s leading meat processors, selling about 80 million tonnes of beef and pork each year.
In 2017, Tyson Foods moved its beef production from its current Cairntown, Victoria, processing site to its $1.3 billion (AU$1.8 billion) new factory in Cairnden, north-west of Cairngorm, which is due to open later this year.
Mr McFadden said Tyson Foods’ beef operations were producing up to 300,000 litres of coal a day, and the company had plans to produce as much as 1 million tonnes a year by 2020.
The company said the Cargill plant in Cawthra, which also processes coal, had seen a significant drop in carbon emissions in the past year and was now producing about 200,000 litre a day.
It was also upgrading its existing coal-fired power plants at the site.
“It’s been quite challenging for the Australian coal industry, but it’s not impossible,” Mr McFadlands said.
“The coal is here and it’s going to continue to be here.
If you put a lot of effort in, it can be a real solution for the environment.”