Dear GRSB Member,

Welcome to the latest GRSB connect. Last week twenty members of GRSB's Definition Committee met in Calgary Alberta to work on the public comments received on our Principles and Criteria. We had an intensive and constructive two days together, during which we discussed the major concerns that people had with various parts of the document.

The cooperative way in which the various constituencies worked together to find common ground will certainly result in a stronger document, and in greater buy in from our members.Thanks to all the members of the technical working groups who put in the time to deliver the inputs for that meeting, and continue to assist with the P&C development process, and thanks to the Canadian Cattlemen's Association for hosting the meeting.

Ruaraidh Petre
Executive Director
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

Sustainability News

Why the Discourse on Sustainable Intensification Needs to Change

Dateline: 06/25/14, Source: By Joern Fischer, Ideas for Sustainability

Just a couple of days ago, we highlighted a new paper we published in Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment on the topic of "sustainable intensification".

By coincidence, two new papers on sustainable intensification landed on my desk today. One, a paper by Charles Godfray and Tara Garnett in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, and two, a report by the RISE Foundation called "The sustainable intensification of European Agriculture". I guess it is fair to say that it is papers such as these two that motivated us in the first place to critically re–appraise sustainable intensification.

Members In The News

New Jersey Beef Jerky Company Offers More Humane and Sustainable Products

Dateline: 06/25/14, Source: Humane Society of the United States

Local company, Lawless Jerky announced it has partnered with Harris–Robinette Beef, a multi–generational Pinetops, N.C. family farm that raises all of its cattle exclusively on pasture. The Humane Society of the United States welcomed the announcement as a positive step for animal welfare.

From Pink Dolphins to Eco–Lodges, Brazil Hopes World Cup Will Boost Tourism

Dateline: 06/24/14, Source: By Mimi Whitefield, Miami Herald

The Rainforest Alliance notes that Brazil is a favorite to win the World Cup but it's also a "winner when it comes to sustainability and biodiversity."

The Alliance undefined working with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation and the Community–based Tourism Forum of the Lower Rio Negro undefined also is helping out by offering training in sustainable practices to hotels, ecolodges and other tourism–oriented business in six communities in the Baixo Rio Negro where the river meets the rainforest.

Piercing the Veil on Sustainability

Dateline: 06/20/14, Source: Farm Animal Care

It's a powerful word shaping the future. But what does it really mean for Canadian livestock production? Sustainability means many things to many different people and organizations, says Cameron Bruett. To a social non–government organization (NGO), it's about labour rights. To an environmental activist group, it's about the carbon footprint of livestock. To the producer at the base of the food chain, it's an often confusing and threatening term meaning more pressures, scrutiny and risks to economic viability.

A wealth of insight was provided by Bruett at the 2014 Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) Future Fare event. As the Chief Sustainability Officer for JBS USA and president of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, he brought an authoritative and often frank, no–holds barred take on the fast–shifting landscape around this issue.

Group Calls for Collective Action on Livestock Sustainability

Dateline: 06/25/14, Source: By Ed Bedington, Global Meat News

Speaking at the World Meat Congress in Beijing, Neil Fraser, chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, said the sector needed to get on board with his organisation to tackle the challenges the sector faces when it comes to sustainable production.

With the diversity of production systems from around the world, ranging from buffalo production in India to feed–lot based intensive systems in the US, there was "no single answer" to the problem. "There's also no single organisation that can address and solve these challenges, and no stakeholder group that has the answer – there's a need for collective, global action, and that's where the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock comes in."

Farm Assurance Program Opens Markets for Abattoir

Dateline: 6/18/14, Source: ABC Australia Rural

Australia's beef exports are breaking all records, from the drought–affected north, all the way south to Tasmania. A new farm quality assurance program has Tasmania's biggest beef processor, JBS, working at full capacity. And JBS Tasmania livestock manager, Mathew Bosworth, says they've been hard at it for months with the new quality assurance program changing the numbers game.

JBS Helps Create Method to Calculate Farm Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dateline: 06/18/14, Source: ILM, Brazil

JBS the world's largest meat product and leather producer has assisted in creating a methodology to measure farm green house emissions in Brazil. The new platform will be able to measure emissions from farming activities such as livestock farming and soybean, corn and sugar cane growing, etc that have an impact on climate change.

It will provide guidelines, new parameters and a specific tool to measure greenhouse gas emissions from the farming industry and will help manage these emissions in every area of farming. Using this methodology, companies will be able to better understand the risks and opportunities linked to farming emissions.

Our Members

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Members in the News

Canada Cattle Slaughter Seen Declining to 19–Year Low

Dateline: 06/20/14, Source: By Jan Skerritt, Bloomberg News

Cattle slaughter in Canada is poised to fall to the lowest in almost two decades as worker shortages constrain production for major meatpackers including Cargill Inc. and JBS SA (JBSS3), according to an industry group.

Meatpackers will probably slaughter 2.51 million head of cattle this year, the lowest since 1995 and down 3 percent from 2013, said Brian Perillat, a senior analyst at Calgary–based Canfax, a market–research unit of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. Labor shortages at processing plants and industry consolidation are contributing to the decline, he said.

Seven of the nation's largest beef and hog–processing plants are running at 77 percent capacity amid a shortage of qualified workers, according to the Canadian Meat Council, which represents packers including Cargill, JBS and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. The slowdown is expected to cost the industry as much as C$300 million ($279 million) this year even as beef prices climb to all–time highs.

Prime Quality, Profitability and Sustainability – Is It Possible in Beef Production? INTERVIEW

Dateline: June 2014, Source: Qualivo

Over the last 20 years Swiss company Hofmann Nutrition AG has developed and implemented a prime quality beef system (QUALIVO) integrating real sustainability. It starts to gain importance. Jürg Hofmann, the company's owner answers our questions. Read interview HERE.


Global News

Prices Cut As Beef Industry Struggles

Dateline: 06/17/14, Source: By Joe Healy, Independent.IE

Real difficulty is the current plight a beef farmer. Their despair is unprecedented in my time dealing, working and writing about agriculture. Many now believe that the processors do not care about the long-future of the industry here in Ireland and that they have more or less given the two fingers to the farm organisations and the minister throughout the season.

Earlier this year, when a farm organisation met with them on prices, their response was to drop the quotes.

Dutch Farmers Just Say No to Antibiotics for Livestock

Dateline: 06/17/014, Source: By Maryn McKenna, Modern Farmer

Can large-scale meat production succeed without routine use of antibiotics? "Growth promoters," the microdoses of everyday antibiotics given to livestock to fatten them, have been banned in Europe since 2006 - but the Netherlands decided to go even further. Since 2009, Dutch farmers have cut animal drug use by half without harming either animal welfare or their own profits. Four years into the project, their accomplishment has huge implications for farming throughout the world.

Beef Producers Should Focus More On Analytics

Dateline: 06/18/14, Source: BEEF Magazine

Analytics are becoming more important than ever before. With so much capital at risk and so much volatility in the business world in today's fast-paced business market, good data and good analytics are required to ensure profitability.

The cattle industry at large needs to consider analyzing production metrics. The industry does a good job of this, but risk management and proper tools can help manage risks better in the modern business world and will help the beef industry be better positioned to grow in the future.


India Set to Increase Meat Presence Globally

Dateline: 06/25/14, Source: By Ed Bedington, Global Meat News

India is poised to take a larger step on to the world stage when it comes to meat, delegates to the World Meat Congress were told.
The Indian buffalo population was showing strong growth, and with increased demand within the dairy sector, Richard Brown, director with market analysts Gira said that more buffalo would be available for the meat sector.

"Buffalo is referred to in India as black gold," he said. "India is poised to emerge as the biggest producer and exporter of bovine meat ins the years to come."

Animal Welfare a Priority for Future Beef Leaders

Dateline: 06/24/14, Source: By Carmen Brown, ABC Australia Rural

The Northern Territory's next generation of beef producers are getting ready to lead their industry, but just how will these young men and women shape the sector over the coming years?

U.S. Meat Producers Square Off Against Consumer Groups in Request to Peel Back on Labeling

Dateline: 06/29/14, Source: By Jim Spencer, Star Tribune :

A coalition of trade associations and companies sent a letter to Congress this week saying if country-of-origin labels for meat are determined by the World Trade Organization to violate international trade rules, then lawmakers should order the U.S. Department of Agriculture to indefinitely suspend the meat labeling rule.

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