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


 As you can read in the one of the news articles below, Colombia is currently planning the expansion of their cattle industry, and in the last week of November held the Colombian Beef week and an International Beef Seminar.

The most encouraging feature of this expansion is that Colombia is planning that it will take place sustainably through intensification and will require no more land than is already used by the beef industry.

I was privileged to attend a workshop in Bogotá in November in which key partners including producers, industry, gobrenment and civil society agreed to launch a Colombian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which will become a member of GRSB. We would like to give them a warm welcome, and offer our appreciation for their foresight in planning their sustainable expansion.





SAVE THE DATE: 2nd Global Conference on Sustainable Beef--August 11-15, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil 
Watch for more information coming soon.

Member News

Video Interview from ADSA & ASAS Meeting
dateline: 10/2013, source: BovineStudio.com, Merck Animal Health

Earlier this summer, Jude Capper, Ph.D., Affiliate at Montana State University and Adjunct Professor at Washington State University, discussed the challenges facing the beef industry to produce enough affordable beef to meet the nutritional requirements of an ever-growing global population. Her presentation at an industry meeting highlighted key best practices within U.S. beef production that help farmers achieve optimum productivity to balance environmental responsibility and economic viability.

CALVING RATE: a discussion of the importance of the calving rate to beef production along with the environmental – and – economic benefits that help keep beef affordable.

JBSCarriers Receives U.S. EPA 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award
dateline: 10/24/13, source: GlobeNewswire, JBS News Release

Award Recipients are Top Program Performers and Leaders in Freight Supply Chain Efficiency. JBS Carriers was recently honored with a second consecutive SmartWay® Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its industry leadership in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency. JBS Carriers, the transportation arm of JBS USA, a leading producer of beef, pork, poultry and lamb products, has made a commitment to improve the efficiency of its fleet and reduce its impact on the environment through fuel-saving, environmentally-friendly technologies, such as Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), trailer skirts, trailer tails and high-performance tires.

Cattle Council Postpones Restructure Vote
By James Nason, dateline: 10/30/13, source: Beef Central

A decision on the future of national grassfed cattle industry representation in Australia will have to wait a few more weeks after the Cattle Council of Australia postponed a vote initially planned for this week’s annual general meeting. The Council is holding its AGM in Canberra on Thursday and was due to vote on whether to formally adopt a preferred restructure model agreed to at its last meeting in Melbourne in September. If adopted the new structure will allow cattle producers to join Cattle Council of Australia as direct members for an annual fee of $110 (inc GST). The board of CCA would also be reduced from 23 councillors to 10.

  In The News



Range Beef Cow Symposium XXII Set
dateline: 10/18/13, source: Yankton Daily Press

The Range Beef Cow Symposium (RBCS) will be hosted in 2013 by South Dakota State University. It will be held at the Rushmore Convention Center in Rapid City Dec. 3-5. The RBCS is a bi-annual educational event designed as “In-Service Training for Cow-Calf Ranchers.” The event will feature well-known speakers who will provide updates on production topics in the areas of beef industry issues, genetics, reproduction, range and forage management, cattle health, beef nutrition, and more.
Canada Beef Group Sees Expanded Hormone-Free Output on EU
By Jen Skerritt, dateline: 10/18/13, source: Businessweek

Ranchers in Canada will raise more cattle without hormones under a new trade agreement because beef exports to the European Union may sell for three times the price of domestic meat, said Rob Meijer, the president of industry group Canada Beef Inc.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the 28-nation trading bloc, announced today, will allow as much as 64,940 metric tons of Canadian beef and veal valued at C$600 million ($582.8 million) to be exported to the EU, which bans the use of growth hormones in meat, Canada Beef said in a statement.

Raising livestock without hormones, which can speed growth and requires less feed, costs C$25 to C$50 more per head, Meijer said. The expense will be profitable because the premium for EU sales may exceed those in China and Japan, where the meat fetches about twice the price in Canada, he said.
US Meat Safety at a Crossroads
By Simone Baroke, dateline 10/21/13, source: GlobalMeatNews.com

US meat safety is in a state of upheaval after some unsettling revelations regarding new procedures employed in a highly contentious pilot programme, which the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in favour of adopting.

Meat consumption is in steady decline and a near stagnant economy means that government resources are tighter than ever, thus providing forceful impetus for change. However, consumer health is at stake and so the last word on the matter has not yet been spoken.
Hart: Alta. Packer to Restart with Eye on Premium Market
By Lee Hart, dateline: 10/20/13, source: Canadian Cattlemen

A veteran of the North American beef industry says he has no doubts he can turn a long-shuttered Alberta beef packing plant into a profitable business.

Rich Vesta, the former CEO of the North American beef division of Brazilian meat packing giant JBS, has set up a temporary headquarters for a new family-owned company, Harmony Beef, in the receiving office on the back parking lot of the short-lived Rancher's Beef packing plant just on the north edge of Calgary.

About $18 million in renovations and upgrades have already started inside the nine-year-old plant that was mothballed six years ago. Vesta's company, Vesta Holdings, expects to finalize the purchase of the plant from Alberta-based Sunterra Beef by Nov. 1.

Colombia Seeks Global Footing for Beef
By Ed Bedington, dateline: 10/18/13, source: GlobalMeatNews.com

Colombia is looking to step onto the world stage when it comes to its beef production, with a week dedicated to promoting the country's meat products. Columbian Beef Week, which runs from 25-30 November, will see a series of events take place in a bid to boost the country’s profile on the world beef stage.

Organised by the Columbian Federation of Cattlemen (FEDEGAN), the week will start with an international business meeting in conjunction with the Columbian export agency Proexport, which will see companies from at least six countries take part.

Greeley-Based Ag Group Spearheading Effort to Reduce Nitrogen
at Rocky Mountain National Park
dateline: 10/22/13, source: Greeley Tribune

The local agriculture industry is teaming up with scientists and other experts, looking to possibly take the “biggest step yet” in addressing what’s been a major concern at Rocky Mountain National Park for several years.

While Greeley is about 60 miles away from the park, ammonia drifting westward from ag operations in Weld County and surrounding areas, among other sources, has impacted the park’s ecosystem, according to studies.

 Biologist Jim Cheatham said the 2006 Rocky Mountain National Park Initiative report revealed that nitrogen levels in the park are about 15 times more than natural amounts undefined with the excess coming in the form of nitrogen oxide from sources like fossil fuels, and also ammonia from ag operations.

Such levels, according to Cheatham, have altered the vegetation composition, aquatic communities and overall natural processes of the alpine tundra the park was created to protect under its designations as a National Park, an International Biosphere Reserve and a Class I Airshed.

Now, the Colorado Livestock Association is voluntarily working with climatologists and other scientists in hopes of controlling the problem.

Grass-Fed Beef Industry Bullish on New USDA Report
By John O’Connell, dateline: 10/25/13, source: Capital Press

The USDA has started tracking domestic grass-fed beef prices, which industry organizations anticipate will lead more producers to enter the industry.

Brian and Michelle Stanger of Bancroft, Idaho have always fed their cattle an all-grass diet and avoided hormones and antibiotics, but only recently have their ranching practices translated into extra income.

Since Aug. 1, the Stangers have fetched a $100-per-cow premium for their grass-fed beef cutting out the middle man by having it butchered at a USDA-inspected custom packing facility in Lewiston, Utah, for sale at the Pocatello Co-op.

Officials with the Denver-based American Grassfed Association say both demand for grass-fed beef and production are on the rise, and a new report by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service tracking monthly grass-fed beef prices should lure more producers into the industry.

The Stangers raise 30 cow-calf pairs on 310 acres in Bancroft, feeding the animals alfalfa hay throughout winter. They believe grass-fed meat tastes better and contains more healthy fatty acids. They previously sold at auctions, mostly to buyers who trucked the cows to a feedlot for fattening on grain.

Tough Questions On Technology Adoption In The Beef Industry
By Wes Ishmael, dateline 10/28/13, source: Beef Magazine (blog)

Bernie Rollin, a world-renowned expert on veterinary medical ethics at Colorado State University, once served on a Pew Commission committee that was studying intensive animal agriculture in the U.S. If you’re unfamiliar with Rollin, understand that he is a lion-hearted friend of animal agriculture, and a professor of both animal science and philosophy who sees and understands the industry’s warts.

A swine industry representative testified before that committee, and said she hoped the committee would consider science in its recommendations.

“Madame, if we on the commission were asking the question of how to raise swine in confinement, science could certainly answer that question for us,” Rollin responded. “But that is not the question the commission, or society, is asking. What we are asking is, ought we raise swine in confinement?”

Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University (KSU) agricultural economist, shared a recent tweet by the Center for Food Integrity that comes to the same bottom line: “Science tells us if we can do something. Society tells us if we should do it.”






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

Graziers Fight for Survival as Drought Grips Queensland
By Peter Lewis, dateline: 1026/13, source: ABC Online, Au

With two-thirds of Queensland drought declared, the ABC's Pete Lewis joined new Federal Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce for a tour of some of the worst affected areas. The northern beef industry will meet in Townsville next week to consider the next steps toward restoring trade with Indonesia - Australia's most important live cattle market.

But of more immediate concern to Queensland graziers is the drought affecting two thirds of the state. The ABC's rural & regional reporter Pete Lewis joined the new federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce for a tour of some of the worst affected areas. Read interview transcript.

Australia Looks to Expand Live Cattle Exports
By Tom Maddocks, dateline: 10/29/13, source: ABC Online, Au

The Chief Minister of Australia's Northern Territory has met with the Prime Minister of Vietnam on a mission to expand the live cattle trade. The Chief Minister Adam Giles met with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi. The visit comes on the back of a resurgent market in Indonesia, which is helping the Northern Territory's cattle industry bounce back after live export bans in 2011.

Vietnam has imported around 40,000 cattle from northern Australia in the last 18 months alone.The Chief Minister says he hopes to expand on that, possibly with the export of Australian buffalo.

Namibia Looks to Boost Cattle Trade with Angola
By William Sanderson Meyer, dateline: 10/24/13, source: GlobalMeatNews.com

Despite Namibia experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, cattle producers' prospects have improved, with a recent relaxation of cross-border trade laws with Angola. The Omaheke Regional Council in Namibia hopes to sign an agreement with Angola’s southern Cuando Cubango province for on-the-hoof exports of cattle, as well as increased quantities of processed meat products.

Previously Namibia, concerned over the potential loss of breeding stock, restricted the cross-border live trade with its northern neighbor to an annual five head of cattle per farmer.

Rules Aim to Prevent Another Donkey-Meat Scandal
By Bekezela Phakathi, dateline: 10/24/13, source: BDlive Nz

The much awaited meat-labeling regulations, due to be gazetted on Friday by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, are expected to protect consumers and prevent a repeat of the so-called donkey-meat scandal that broke early this year.

The meat-labeling issue made headlines earlier this year after a scandal in Europe over wrongly labeled meat. It then became a local issue when research by the University of Stellenbosch found that meat products in supermarkets were not correctly labeled. Meat such as donkey, kangaroo and water buffalo was found in products labeled, for example, as beef.

Cattlemen Connect Across the Timor Sea
By James Nason, dateline: 10/23/13, source: Beef Central

A group of Northern Territory cattle producers has spent the past week visiting their counterparts in Indonesia’s eastern provinces, working to understand the challenges they face and what can be done to improve the productivity and profitability of their cattle farming businesses. The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association has been at the forefront of Australian industry efforts to build strong relationships within Indonesia’s cattle sector.

A central plank of those efforts has been the association’s successful Indonesia Australia Pastoral Industry Student Program, which in 2012 saw eight students from two universities spend six weeks on NT cattle stations, and this year expanded to involve 15 students from five universities.

Last week’s tour was organised in response to an Indonesian Government invitation for Australian cattle producers to visit Indonesia’s eastern provinces, which have been formally identified as priority areas for the future development of Indonesia’s cattle herd.

Argentina Feels Beef Pressure

By Carla Wiese-Smith, dateline: 10/23/13, source: The Land Newspaper

Argentina was once one of Australia's biggest competitors in the international beef market but restrictive government policy and a string of drought years pushed the South American country from being the world's third-largest beef exporter a decade ago - behind Brazil and Australia - to not even being in the top 10 today.

Eight years ago, Argentina exported 24.6 per cent of its 3.13-million tonne beef production, and it did this without cutting off supplies to its people who had the second-highest annual beef consumption rate in the world, at more than 62 kilograms a person.

This year, it is estimated Argentina will export just 6.8pc of its expected 2.8mt beef yield, well below historical levels. At the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Argentina held in September, meat and livestock markets adviser and researcher Maria Nieves Pascuzzi said much of the decline could be attributed to a drop in beef farmer numbers - about 30,000 producers have left the industry since 2006, and the national herd has dropped by 12 million head.

Farm Exporters Demand Reduced Tariffs under FTAs
dateline: 10/22/13, source: ABC Online Au

Agricultural exporters are excited about the chance of free trade agreements being negotiated with China, Korea and Japan.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb is in China today, and will return again next month to try to fulfil the Prime Minister's pledge of a deal before Christmas. Beef, mango and citrus exporters are among those hoping these talks deliver something concrete, after a decade of delays and disadvantage.

While China's emergence as a hungry red meat market is keeping Sanger busy, the exporter says Australia is at a disadvantage compared to New Zealand.

"I understand the import duty for Australian beef is about 13 per cent and I believe New Zealand, with their Free Trade Agreement in place, is around 4 per cent and it could be going to 2.7 per cent. That's a substantial differential."At the moment, Australia is on a 40 per cent tariff which was what the US was on when they started the agreement a couple of years ago.

Steve Kelly, from the Beef Industry's Free Trade Taskforce, says the Australian industry has calculated that it will suffer a cumulative loss of $1.4 billion over the 15 years, unless Australia can secure a similar FTA with Korea.

Legacy of Cuts is Still Hurting
By Darragh McCullough, dateline 10/22/13, source: Irish Independent

Last week's Budget included a great idea for the suckler herd and beef industry in general. However, the cumulative effect of six austerity budgets is still being felt at ground level and the pain for farm families has intensified rather than waned. Minister majored on his €23m new genomics programme for the suckler herd in interviews over the last week.

The €60 payment per calf is a significantly better package than what has been on offer to beef farmers since the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme was scrapped in 2012.

Last year's Beef Data Programme offered farmers a massively reduced payment of €20 per cow. Even worse, it was capped at 20 cows per farm. The new payment will be a tripling of that rate, without any limit on the number of calves that a farmer can submit.



         News We Can Use

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