Dear GRSB Member,

I had a conversation this week about communication between opponents to an enterprise or initiative and those who defend it — relevant in much of what we all do, we often find we are opposed from one side or another.

This prompted me to search out a book recommended to me last year by a board member; "The Language of Trust; selling ideas in a world of skeptics". It's a worthwhile read as it reminds us that just because we know or believe something and may have good science to back our views up, facts are often not the place to start in a discussion with an opponent. Now there are some viewpoints that it makes no sense to engage with as they clearly represent the antithesis of livestock production, e.g those expressed by the animal rights activists in the Ag Week article about New Zealand below.

However few of us, I would hope, would disagree that animal welfare is an important concern, and that constructive conversations with less extreme proponents are valuable. The point made in my conversation and the book is that answering moral outrage or ethical objections with scientific facts or detailed explanations is going to result in a disconnect. The outraged or moral opponent is not primarily looking for facts, but for values that they can connect with and integrity they can put their faith in. Only once those have been demonstrated can you lead on to the facts, the science and other details.

If you haven't got their attention with your values and your integrity, they will not be listening for the facts. To those of you in communications, this might be very basic material, but for me certainly, this is a novel and useful way to think about how to face critical opposition.

Of course it helps to have some concrete examples in hand, and that is why the news of pilot projects underway in Canada is very positive, as is the news, reported in GlobalMeatNews again this week that Brazilian companies, particularly GRSB members JBS and Marfrig have made really outstanding progress in demonstrating that their supply chains are not involved in deforesting the Amazon. They should be congratulated for this, and we hope to see all processors in the Amazon demonstrating the same.

Please keep sending your own sustainability news, and do also volunteer for our Global Indicators Group, as well as the group on the potential for recognition or endorsement of existing standards.


Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director

GRSB General Assembly Meeting
Amsterdam, NL
October 27—29, 2015

Sustainability News

Harvesting the Research: Valuing Ecosystem Services to Offset Global Costs of Agriculture

Dateline: 06/08/15, Source: By Danielle Nierenberg, Huffington Post

Food Tank spoke with Dr. Harpinder Sandhu, lead author of a paper on the value of ecosystem services published in PeerJ, an online scientific and medical journal.

The overall message: The study found that the economic value of ecosystem services —— specifically nitrogen mineralization and biological control of pests —— could exceed the input costs of pesticides and fertilizers on the global scale, even if adopted on only 10 percent of globally utilized arable land.

Sustainable beef? It's What's for Dinner

Dateline: 06/10/15, Source: By Mike Wilson, Farm Futures

Is beef sustainable? The short answer, if you believe social media and animal activist groups, is no. No way. While I have a hard time believing the alarmist rants, there's a mountain of evidence that says animal livestock and sustainability have a hard time dancing in the same sentence. But despite that reckoning, people still crave beef.

Bion Updates and Defines Objectives of Sustainable Brand Initiative

Dateline: 06/18/15, Source: PR Newswire

LBion Environmental Technologies, Inc. a provider of advanced livestock waste treatment technology, announced it is on track to submit its application for a sustainable brand certification through the USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) in August/September of this year. Bion's objective is to secure a sustainable brand that can be applied to both the livestock protein products (beef, pork, dairy, and poultry) produced on farms that implement Bion's technology, as well as the by—products refined in the process, such as organic fertilizer and soil amendments.

Members In The News

Panera Debuts Open—Kitchen Concept; Promotes Clean Menu

Dateline: 06/17/15, Source: Zacks

Panera's Food Policy is consistent with the growing awareness about healthy diet among consumers. Last year, McDonald's Corp listed its sustainability goals for 2020 per the rules of Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef — an organization to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef. The fast—food giant outlined the global criteria for sustainable beef production and announced plans to purchase verified sustainable beef by 2016.

Cargill, Monsanto, P&G to Develop Sustainability Metrics for Farmers

Dateline: 06/12/15, Source: Environmental Leader

The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture along with its 75 members — including Cargill, Coca—Cola, Environmental Defense Fund and Monsanto — pledged to develop the next generation of farm—level sustainability metrics during a roundtable session at the White House. The metrics are designed to help growers measure and ultimately, reduce emissions.

Brazilian Food Giant Reports Progress in Pledge to Preserve Amazon

Dateline: 06/05/15, Source: By Helen Arnold, GlobalMeatNews

Brazilian food processing giant JBS, which has publicly pledged not to purchase cattle from ranches responsible for deforestation inside the Amazon Biome region, has reported that of 12,221 sales in 2014, only four were from non—conforming farms, according to its annual independent audit.

Ruchi Soya—Solidaridad Deal to Help Palm Oil Farmers in Sustainability

Dateline: 06/09/15, Source: FnBnews

Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd, a leading edible oil and soya foods company, recently inked a deal with Solidaridad, a civil society organisation developing supply chains. Valued at Euros 4.5 million, the deal was signed in the presence of prime minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. As part of the deal, Ruchi Soya will share 55% of this investment and Solidaridad the remaining 45%. The project will work on the principle of 'Make in India' and 'More Crop per Drop.'

Antibiotic Stewardship Plan, Significant Research Effort Announced by Elanco

Dateline: 06/03/15, Source: BEEF Magazine

As the rhetoric heats up over the use of antibiotics in food—producing animals, pharmaceutical companies are stepping to the fore to proactively help address the issue. For example, Elanco Animal Health participated in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship where Elanco President Jeff Simmons was part of a panel discussion. Concurrently, Simmons is unveiled the company's multi—faceted approach to combat the growing concern about antibiotic resistance.

Feedstuffs, Elanco Launch VFD Central

Dateline: 04/17/15, Source: Feedstuffs FoodLink

By 2017, the growth promotion use of antibiotics approved for both humans and animals, as defined in U.S. FDA Guidances 209 and 213, will no longer be allowed. To guide all segments of animal agriculture through these regulatory changes, Feedstuffs and Elanco Animal Health have partnered to create an online resource center, VFD Central.

McDonald's Undertakes Pilot Project for Sustainable Beef Practices

Dateline: 06/10/15, Source: Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

Fast food giant McDonald's is conducting a global beef sustainability pilot project in Alberta with about 100 ranchers in the province expressing interest in participating. McDonald's said it has identified beef sustainability as a key business priority and is committed to being more progressive in partnering with industry to advance sustainable practices.

Policy Pennings: Walmart's New Positions on Agricultural Practices Will Filter Down to the Farm Levelk

Dateline: 06/11/15, Source: By By Daryll E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer, Drovers CattleNetwork

"Our customers want to know more about how their food is grown and raised, and where it comes from," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart sustainability, on May 22, 2015 as the retailer announced new positions on the humane treatment of farm animals and the responsible use of antibiotics in farm animals. Their action joins those of other retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods, McDonalds, and Chipotle in setting standards for the food they sell.

Is Animal Welfare Becoming a Commercial Issue?

Dateline: 06/19/15, Source: The Sheep Site

Large multinational processing companies, retailers and foodservice organisations are starting to define the way that producers view animal welfare and ethical, sustainable production. Ten years ago, Walmart's UK division, Asda, launched its sustainability programme, Sustainability 360, which started a total sustainability programme that has developed over the years.

Our Members

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

Welcome to the Table!

We Welcome The Newest Member to the Roundtable

Dateline: June 2015

Nature's Blueprint Cow

Constituency: Producer

Nature's Blueprint Cow works with the identification, evaluation and selection of bovine genetics which best work in sync with nature (i.e., the design which nature intended). The express purpose is to provide bovine genetics and education to Farmers for sustainably and profitably producing high quality, nutrient dense and naturally produced food.

Members in the News

Zoetis: No—Penicillin Feed Additive

Dateline: date
06/04/15, Source: AgriView

Working voluntarily with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Zoetis has replaced its chlortetracycline/ sulfamethazine/penicillin— combination medicated feed additives. Its new AUREOMIX® S medicated feed additive combines chlortetracycline and sulfamethazine without the use of penicillin. Zoetis officials say the company supports the Food and Drug Administration's Guidance for Industry 209 and 213, to phase out the use of all medically important antibiotic products labeled for growth promotion.

Beef + Lamb Abandons 2—Year Push for Joint Development Body

Dateline: 06/17/15, Source: By Jonathan Underhill,

Beef + Lamb New Zealand says it won't proceed with a joint market development body because meat companies and exporters baulked at paying half of the $8 million cost. The decision by meat processors to continue funding their own marketing rather than putting up some $4 million for a joint effort with Beef + Lamb means the farmer owned industry organisation won't proceed with the plan. Beef + Lamb currently spends about $8 million on its own to fund the country of origin marketing programme.

'Pub Club' Held Aims to Help Farmers Through Drought

Dateline: 06/17/15, Source: Radio NZ

Beef and Lamb New Zealand is hoping the lure of a free meal will get farmers in drought—stricken North Canterbury together, to plan for the coming weeks and months.

Forum Draws 'Antibiotic Stewardship' Commitments

Dateline: 06/02/15, Source: By Dave Natzke, Drovers CattleNetwork

Merck Animal Health developed a commercial surveillance program to monitor multi—drug resistant bacteria, across live animal, beef and dairy production. The outcome of this investment is expected to be a program that can be implemented by veterinarians to understand the pathogens present, throughout the animal's lifecycle, and to make protocol recommendations based on actual pathogen populations, and their relative susceptibility. By implementing this potential surveillance program, veterinarians will be able to provide targeted, responsible treatments with antibiotics and other therapeutics when needed.

Global News

Purdue Expert Advises Early Castration for Beef Calves

Dateline: 06/17/15, Source: By Darrin Pack, Drovers CattleNetwork

Livestock producers should have beef calves castrated within a few months of birth, rather than waiting for weaning, says W. Mark Hilton, clinical professor of food animal production medicine at Purdue University. The benefits of early castration include less pain for the animal at the time of surgery, improved health in the feedlot, improved carcass tenderness and marbling, decreased stress on the calf and a quicker rebreeding for dams nursing steer calves.

Permit Uncertainty Only Obstacle to Indonesian Feedlot Expansions

Dateline: 06/18/15, Source: By James Nason, BEEF Central

Uncertainty over cattle import permits is the only factor preventing a number of Indonesian cattle importing and lot feeding companies from proceeding with planned feedlot expansions.

Alberta Drought Hits Beef Producers

Dateline: 06/16/15, Source: By William Kee,

Alberta's beef industry is currently experiencing a dry season, with very little rain since the spring snow melt. According to Dave Solverson, president of the Canadian Cattlemen Association, it's too early to be calling the dry weather a drought. "We always need rain in May and June to get good hay, but we just haven't had it this year."

The beef industry is a $33 billion business, but Solverson says cattle ranchers have adapted to changing conditions to come up with alternative means of feeding their cattle.

New Zealand Law Highlights Battle Between Livestock Industry and Animal Rights Groups

Dateline: 06/15/15, Source: By Jonathan Knutson, AgWeek

The new legislation — the first major review in 15 years of New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act of 1999, which defines animal welfare standards — makes a number of changes. Its sentience provision, which one government official described as "largely symbolic," isn't expected to immediately affect New Zealand livestock operations.

Time for Industry, Congress to Ensure Beef Safety

Dateline: 06/18/15, Source: By Stove Brooks, AgWeek

North Dakota is home to some of the best cattle in the world. For that reason, I support the chance to label our product and differentiate it in the marketplace through the many voluntary, industry—driven programs certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These programs give consumers choices and information and reward producers like me for meeting certain demands.

News We Can Use

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