What's in the news right now about the environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef value chain.


Dear GRSB Member, 

From Ruaraidh Petre
Executive Director Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

Welcome to the latest edition of the GRSB newsletter.

Our Technical Working Groups have made great progress in the production of our first draft of Principles and Criteria that will assist our effort to define global sustainable beef. As you read this, a group of GRSB definitions committee members are busily editing our draft Principles and Criteria to create a cohesive and consistent document for your review. You can expect to receive this draft document in the very near future. We ask that each of you plan to review this document with your organization to ensure that we have addressed the sustainability criteria important to you and your stakeholders.

You should also have received notification of the upcoming GRSB Executive Board meeting on October 4th, in Denver, Colorado.  As a reminder, we will hold elections for five Executive Board members during this meeting. Please make your nominations and send them to Ruaraidh Petre and Scott Stuart.

As always, we welcome any relevant news from your organization and appreciate your input and guidance to improve the GRSB newsletter. 

Thank you for your continued support of GRSB.

Roundtable Updates

All GRSB Members Invited to Attend Executive Board Meeting in Denver
dateline: 9/10/13 source: GRSB Executive Board

The semi-annual GRSB Executive Board Meeting is scheduled to be held from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4th in Denver, Colorado, USA. In addition, there will be an optional tour of cattle production and harvesting facilities in Northern Colorado on October 5th from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
All GRSB members are encouraged to attend and openly participate including other people from within your GRSB member organization you wish to invite; however, please understand that although GRSB strives for consensus, in the event a vote is necessary only the elected Executive Board members will be asked to take part in a ballot in adherence to the GRSB statutes and by-laws.

The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Denver - International Airport 7001 Yampa Street, Denver, Colorado, 80249, USA

Meeting Registration link Hotel Reservation link.

Please make your reservations prior to Sept 16th to receive the special GRSB room rate of $129/night.

Member News

Cargill Releases 2013 CSR Report
dateline:8/2/13 source:IngredientsNetwork.com

Cargill has released its 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report entitled “Responsibility Across Many Dimensions.” The company says that it features Cargill’s actions to meet and exceed the expectations of its stakeholders by conducting business with integrity, operating responsible supply chains, working to feed the world and enriching our communities. PDF of Report

In the News

Nebraska to Host Beef Sustainability Roundtable

dateline: 9/3/13 source: Brownfield Ag News. By Ken Anderson.


Nebraska will host a Beef Sustainability Roundtable in mid-September. According to Ann Marie Bosshammer, executive director of the Nebraska Beef Council, it will include officials of some of the major grocery and restaurant chains in the U.S.

“Folks that work for Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Yum Brands, Darden Group,” Bosshamer says, “and they’re the people that focus on sustainability for those companies, along with some non-government organizations like the Nature Conservancy.”

Bosshamer says roundtable participants will tour a ranch, a feedyard, a packing plant and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center.

"We have a really great story to tell and by bringing these folks to Nebraska where we have everything here to show them, from the corn to the cattle and the packing industry; it’s a great opportunity to really give them everything they need in one trip.”

Bosshamer says the recently-released Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment will be a big part of the discussion during the tours and roundtable event.

Salaries for Ag Grads Do More Than Just Pay the Bills

dateline: 8/30/13 source: Drover’s CattleNetwork. By Brett Wessler.

A determining factor in choosing a major and a future career path in college can be the expected salary upon graduation, new data from 16 universities show students have another reason to enroll in ag school.

The annual data of 16 universities, primarily in the Midwest, shows college students graduating with agricultural majors in Dec. 2012 and May 2013 are making five percent more money than starting salaries of students in the previous year.

Scholarship Helps Develop Tomorrow's Agricultural Leaders

dateline: 9/3/13 source: 4Traders.com

Twenty-five of Australian and New Zealand agriculture's best and brightest young people are gathering at Woolworths to take part in an innovative program designed to boost rural and regional career prospects.

Gov't Wants Carbon Farm Returned to Pastoral Use

dateline: 9/2/13 source: Beef Central AU

The Northern Territory Government says it is determined to see a cattle station bought with Government funding two years ago for the purposes of carbon farming returned to cattle production, now that it is back on the market. Henbury Station, 230km south of Alice Springs, drew national attention in July 2011 when it was purchased by RM Williams Agricultural Holdings in conjunction with the Federal Government for $13 million to create the world's biggest carbon farming enterprise. The Federal Government, under then environment minister Tony Burke, contributed $9m to the purchase. The project was to see the 405,000 hectare property, which was carrying 17,000 cattle at the time, totally destocked and re-vegetated to generate carbon offset credits.


Productivity-Enhancing Tools for Cattle Producers

dateline 9/3/13 source: AgInfo. By Kay Dee Gilkey

Many of us in the livestock industry have been closely watching the Zilmax issue. In early August beef processor Tyson announced it would stop accepting cattle that had been fed the feed additive Zilmax. A week later the Merck the maker of Zilmax said it would be suspending sales.

Later Cargill, another beef processor announced it too would discontinue the purchase of cattle fed Zilmax.

According to Washington State University adjunct professor Dr. Jude Capper possibly taking away the tool of Beta Agonists like Zilmax which help increase pounds of beef -- means we need more cattle, more land and other resources to make up the difference.



Caring for our Country Land care Eureka Prize for Sustainable

 Dateline: 9/5/13 source: Australian Museum

Native shrubs good for sheep and the environment: Feeding livestock on native plants is the key to sustainable profits for Australian farmers, researchers have found. Farmers in dry parts of southern Australia are planting native perennial shrubs to feed their animals following ground-breaking research by The Future Farm Industries CRC Enrich Project Team.< BR> For its role in initiating this change, the Enrich team has won the 2013 Australian Museum Caring for our Country Land care Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture. The team discovered that grazing native shrubs could improve profitability by up to 24 per cent in low-to-medium rainfall areas, as well as decrease greenhouse gas emissions and erosion.




This issue:
·  To read the entire source article, please click on the link in the article headline
 ·   Roundtable Update
·  Member News
·  In The News

Quality Meat Scotland Issues Warning Over Genuine Cost of Beef Production
dateline: 9/2/13 source: The Herald Scotland. By Rog Wood

A worrying gap is emerging between the true value of beef and the price that retailers sell it for, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the red-meat industry's promotional body, warned yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of QMS's annual review, Chairman Jim McLaren said the fact the retail price of beef does not reflect the genuine cost of beef production and processing was now a very real threat to the future viability of the red-meat processing sector.

Industry At A Glance: Feeder Cattle Imports From Mexico
dateline: 8/2/8/13 source: Beef Magazine. By Nevil Speer

The flow of cattle from Mexico is a key component of the overall supply for the U.S. cattle marketing system. Ongoing feeder cattle supply decline within the U.S. has been partially offset by increasing imports from Mexico. The need to maintain feed yard occupancy levels has generated significant demand from the south. Simultaneously, drought in Mexico has facilitated supply to meet that demand. As a result, the annual imported feeder cattle supply from Mexico peaked in January 2013.
However, there’s been a steady slowdown in the flow of imports since that time, which is largely the result of fewer cattle being available. As of mid-August, the annual import level is just slightly over 655,000 head, nearly 95,000 head behind last year’s pace and the lowest level since November 2011. The trend is an important development in regard to the overall supply of feeder cattle and general direction of the feeder market.

Exotic Legume Improves Livestock Feeding
dateline: 9/2/13 source: Phys.org. by Geoff Vivian


A Mediterranean legume has the potential to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions when fed to livestock. UWA researcher and plant breeder William Erskine says in vitro trials shows digesting the plant Biserrula pelecinus produces almost ten times less methane than subterranean and red clovers (Trifolium subterraneum L. and Medicago sativa L.).

Associate Professor Erskine says it also appears to be more nutritious, as sheep rumen digests more fatty acids in Biserrula than these forage crops.

Indo Beef Goal 'Unattainable'
dateline: 9/2/13 source: Stock Journal AU. By Matthew Cawood.

Indonesia’s aim to be self-sufficient in beef could devastate the nation's cattle herd unless there is substantial investment in productivity gains, ANZ modeling suggests.

In a report to be provided to ANZ customers, ANZ proposes that a more sustainable, less costly scenario would see Indonesia instead aim for 70 per cent self-sufficiency, with the remaining 30pc coming from beef imports.

ANZ argues that 100pc self-sufficiency is virtually unattainable, even in the unlikely event that Indonesia's per-capita beef consumption levels remain at current low levels of just under three kilograms a year.

Sustainable Farmer Feels Climate Ignored

dateline 9/6/13 source: ABC AU

An award-winning sustainable beef producer says our leaders are too busy supporting corporations, and old, rather than new, industries. Glenn Morris, from FigTrees Organic Farms in northern NSW, is in disbelief that climate change is hardly rating a mention this election. He says that instead the discussion and debate has been based around economies and jobs.

But where do they think the wealth is created?" he said. "You have two ultimate forms of wealth. You have mining or you have sustainable intergenerational agriculture based on good practice. Tony Abbott has called this an election, a referendum on the carbon tax. I'm calling it a referendum on our children's future."

Rabobank Points to Beef Opportunity in China

dateline: 8/30/13 source: Global Meat News. By Nicholas Robinson.

Key global suppliers can tap into China’s increasing appetite for beef, following the country’s struggle to produce enough beef fast enough to meet demand, according to a new report from Rabobank. The report revealed that consumption of beef in China has increased steadily over the last few years, with demand driven by an increase in income, a shift in diet and urbanization.                             

Enhance Competitiveness of Canada's Beef Sector

dateline: 8/30/13, source: Atlantic Farm Focus

The federal government has made key investments in science and innovation to lead a research cluster of industry experts, scientists and universities to enhance the competitiveness of the Canadian beef sector: “Canadian beef producers have a long and proud history of producing top-quality food that is enjoyed around the world," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Aug. 20. "Working with industry and academia our government is making strategic investments to help the sector meet the growing global demand for high quality, safe beef and to ensure the Canadian cattle industry remains competitive and sustainable for the future.

The $14 million investment will bring together scientific expertise for research in crucial areas such as improving beef quality and food safety; animal health and welfare, including detection and prevention of animal disease; feed production and efficiency; as well as environmental sustainability. The research cluster will support what industry has identified as the highest priority research, done by the best experts in the country to enhance food safety, beef quality, feed utilization and the use of forages.


News We Can Use

If you have news to share with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef membership, please send it to polly.welden@grsbeef.org

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