Dear GRSB Member,

Thanks to all of those who submitted comments on our Principles and Criteria. The amount of media attention in Australia ensured that we had a fair amount of feedback from there as well as from other major producer regions.

One of the issues that has been highlighted in an initial look at the feedback is that of antibiotic use in livestock. Misunderstandings are prevalent on this issue – while recent FDA guidance and that being introduced in Canada covers many concerns, the messages to consumers
(see Consumerist article) are mixed and some tend towards alarmist.

It will be important for GRSB to react to this issue as we have now heard from 8,000 consumers on the issue, as the result of an online petition forwarded to us.

I seek guidance from all of those with expertise in this area.

Further to that same topic, I have also been asked to present on GRSB's approach to efficiency and innovation at the 3rd International Conference on Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Animals, to be held at the end of September in Amsterdam.

Several other issues, such as switching demand to sustainable beef, and a verification framework have been highlighted, and we are looking forward to the synopsis of comments that is now being prepared, and to working on our response to these and editing the Principles and Criteria in late June.
Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director

Sustainability News

A Stake in Sustainable Beef

Dateline: May 2014 Issue, Source: Publication

Setting global parameters for what constitutes "sustainable beef" is no small task, but Cameron Brett understands what is at stake: the future of beef.

B+LNZ Likely to Join Global Talks

Dateline: 4/27/14, Source: By Hugh Stringleman, Agri HQ, NZ

Beef + Lamb New Zealand appears likely to join the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and participate in drafting principles covering sustainable production. Under those principles NZ would be encouraged to emphasise grass-fed beef and sustainable management, including environmental stewardship.

Why the GRSB Matters: McConnel

Dateline: 05/14/14, Source: By Matthew Cawood, Queensland Country Life

That distrust has come to the fore with WWF’s involvement in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). Many feel that if WWF is involved with the project, it will be a Trojan Horse to carry a Green agenda into the heart of the beef industry.

McDonald’s Aims to ‘Collaborate Not Mandate on Sustainability

Dateline: 05/16/14, Source: By Mary Soukup, Drovers CattleNetwork

Earlier this year McDonald’s announced its intent to purchase verified sustainable beef beginning in 2016. Bob Langert, McDonald’s Vice President, was on hand in Nashville in February during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention to talk with America’s cattle producers about the company’s sustainability-related goals and to reassure cattlemen and women that McDonald’s intends to collaborate with industry on this project, not mandate new requirements on them. WATCH VIDEO.


WWF: 'Privatisating' Production

Dateline: 05/15/14, Source: By Senator Ron Boswll, Queensland Country Life

In Senator Ron Boswell's last big Senate speech before his retirement next month, he takes a massive – if predictable – swipe at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Global Roundtable of (Not So) Sustainable Beef

Dateline: 05/20/14, Source: Jonathan Glebard Blog, Natural Resources Defense Council (

This past Friday, NRDC and our partners at Rainforest Alliance, Food Alliance and Friends of the Earth U.S. submitted joint comments to the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (GRSB) detailing why the latest version of their "Principles" and "Criteria" falls short of serving as a credible framework for recognizing sources of verified sustainable beef.

Global News

Fifth Quarter Helps Cut Carbon Footprint of Beef Production
Dateline: 2014, Source: EBLEX

Increasing use of fifth quarter is helping cut the carbon footprint of producing a kilo of beef by around 25 per cent, according to EBLEX (English beef and sheep industry organization). The fall has been driven by changes to Animal By-Product (ABP) regulations and increased export opportunities, helping boost consumption of red offals and edible co-products (ECP), as well as soft bones and tendons.

Four Inspirational Food Leaders Honored at Growing Green Awards

Dateline: 05/14/14, Source: By Peter Lehner, NRDC and NRDC Action Fund via Huffington Post

Today, NRDC and the Berkeley Food Institute will honor Will Harris and three other visionary food leaders at NRDC's 6th annual Growing Green Awards. Through the efforts of these inspirational educators, practitioners and advocates, we are beginning to make farming and food production more sustainable, and to change the way we eat as a nation.

Scottish Processors Meet Farmers on Beef Price

Dateline: 05/09/14, Source: By Charlie Taverner, Farmers Weekly, UK

Scottish farm leaders and meat processors will work together on a strategy to combat the price pressures facing the beef industry.


Steaks Are High in the Beef Industry

Dateline: 05/09/14, Source: CTV News Vancouver

The cost of wholesale beef has nearly doubled in Canada over the last five years, and industry professionals warn it won’t be going down anytime soon. WATCH VIDEO.   

Antibiotic Changes Not Expected To Have Major Impact On Beef

Dateline: 05/09/14, Source: By Kelvin Heppner, Portage Online

New restrictions on when antibiotics can be used in livestock will likely not have a major impact on beef production, according to the general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. Health Canada is planning to remove growth promotion claims from medically–important drugs, as well as increase the veterinary oversight when those antibiotics are used in feed or water.   

Our Members



To read the entire source article, click on the link in the headline.

Global News

Drugmakers Agree to U.S. Ban on Livestock Antibiotics

Dateline: 05/20/14, Source: By Carey L. Brion, Inter Press Service

Pharmaceutical companies have overwhelmingly agreed to new U.S. government guidelines aimed at decreasing the use of antibiotics in the raising of livestock, new data shows.

Meat Institute Survey Finds Confusion Among Consumers Regarding Antibiotics

Dateline: 05/14/14, Source: Beef Producer

Consumers are confused about the causes of antibiotic resistance, a new poll conducted by Nielsen/The Harris Poll for the American Meat Institute and released this week has found. In the survey, conducted online in March 2014 among 2,100 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, participants were asked, "According to the CDC, which of the following is the greatest contributing factor to human antibiotic resistance?" Only four in ten Americans – 41% – correctly answered "health professionals over–prescribing to people."

Coming Clean on Antibiotics

Dateline: 05/19/14, Source: By Laura Rance, Manitoba Co-operator

Canadian health and veterinary authorities have been discussing the virtually unregulated and poorly monitored antibiotic use in farm animals since the late 1990s. Now Health Canada is starting to do something about it.

Rep. Slaughter Asks McDonald’s To Switch To Antibiotic-Free Beef

Dateline: 05/19/14, Source: By Chris Morran, Consumerist

Some 80% of antibiotics sold in this country go to farmers to put in animal feed, and while the livestock and pharmaceutical industries now like to pretend it’s for disease prevention, the primary motive for shoving drugs down animals’ throats is because antibiotics have the happy side effect of encouraging growth.

The practice is so widespread that it would take one of the country’s largest beef–buyers to result in any effective change, which is why New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has called on McDonald's to ditch drugged–up meat for good.

India’s Meat Sector Nervous Over Nationalist Party Victory

Dateline: 05/15/14, Source: By Raghavendra Verma,

Beef and buffalo producers and exporters in India are bracing for additional controls after general election exit polls predicted a victory for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party led by Narendra Modi.

Meat Industry Reform Urgent

Dateline: 05/15/14, Source: By Stuart Smith, NZ Farmer

OPINION: Reforming the meat industry was the topic of conversation 20 years ago, when I left pastural farming behind for farming grapes, and not much seems to have changed.

Opinion Divided On Who Benefits Most from Japan–Australia Deal

Dateline: 05/15/14, Source: By Barbara Bierach,

The new Japan–Australia Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), agreed on 8 April, allows unprecedented access to Japanese markets, but it is not necessarily only the Australian meat producers who will profit.

Latin American Deal Could Cost EU Beef Industry €9bn

Dateline: 05/17/14, Source: By Jez Fredenburgh, Farmers Weekly, UK

The deal, which also covers sectors outside agriculture, would mean creating freer trade between the EU and Mercosur, a block of countries including Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. However, an impact assessment found that benefits to agriculture would be one–sided and that EU farmers would suffer a disrupted internal market and greater price volatility.

China Beef Imports Witness Almost Four–Fold Increase

Dateline: 05/17/14, Source: Agriland

A new report released by Rabobank forecasts Chinese beef imports to grow by 15% to 20% annually over the next five years. This increase is expected to make up a growing shortfall in domestic production...

The Potential of U.S. Grazing Lands to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect

Dateline: 2014, Source: IBCAS

The Potential of U.S. Grazing Lands to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect, edited by R.F. Follett, J.M. Kimble, and R. Lal, describes grazing lands, the areas they occupy, and their important role in equestering C to help mitigate the greenhouse effect.


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