How do you make a sector more sustainable in the face of international competition, changing consumption patterns, climate change, and a complex regulatory environment? Faced with these issues, the Australian Meat Processors Corporation approached us to produce a sustainability report that would introduce the idea of sustainability into the red meat processing sector.
Sustainability reports can end up as stranded assets on company websites – their investment return not commensurate with the time, effort and money expended. So we persuaded the AMPC to approach this as a strategic communications project, rather than a sustainability report alone.
Our solution was a ‘Feast of Ideas’, which initially involved a lunch and mini-conference in Wagga Wagga, home to one of the country’s largest meat processors. We gathered scientists, processors, farmers, retailers, food activists and bureaucrats to analyse the challenges facing the processing sector. We filmed the event and uncovered fascinating insights from interviews. Did you know, for example, that scientists are working on a locally grown seaweed that could stop most of the greenhouse gas emitted by cows?
We used this material to create a microsite and sustainability report: http://feastofideas.com/ This ground-breaking report, which was a finalist in the Australasian Reporting Awards, was followed with a major conference in November, which we branded The Vital Ingredient, and which featured 160 delegates and 35 speakers from around the world
Within two months of the release of the report and microsite, AMPC had 37,900 Tweet impressions and 9,863 impressions on LinkedIn. On Facebook the Feast of Ideas videos reached over 42,900 people. Posts containing AMPC-related hashtags were seen 273,693 times across all social media platforms. Over 60 media stories, with an equivalent advertising value of over $630,000, were published as a direct result of the conference. The success of the project vindicated a long-held view at BWD: if you want to communicate strategy, think creatively.