Dear GRSB Member,

If one thing has become clear over the past few months, it is that GRSB needs to start getting more information out to people who are looking for it. That includes information about our members and their own initiatives to make all aspects of the beef industry better for the environment, for communities and for their own business. In a recent exchange, the question was posed to me whether GRSB should be championing the beef industry; I think the answer is that we should certainly be championing those who are already demonstrating what our Principles and Criteria are in practice.

While we may also have a role within the industry of looking for more ways of doing things better, and leading our members to make positive changes, I believe that our public or consumer facing voice should be to point out that while we acknowledge there are problems, many in the industry are already leading change. One of the fundamental issues is that the "efficiency gap" between those who produce, process and retail beef with the most efficient use of resources and the average or below average operations is huge.

We recognise that every situation is different and that what works in one place may not elsewhere, however, the gap is large even in similar environments. While we want those front runners to be recognised, the real challenge for GRSB and our members, is to bring the industry as a whole up to where the best are now.

This means sharing successes, working with each other to replicate and adapt them so that not just the best are recognised, but more companies are involved in bringing about positive change. We need to be able to measure these successes, quantify results and showcase them (see Cargill story below).

GRSB has, through our membership, a long reach in the beef industry. If we start measuring the positive changes that all of our members and their partners are making, we will have an impressive body of real world experience to share. I believe, and hope that you would agree, that the impact of GRSB can only be measured in the work of our members in their day to day business. We need to start gathering this information and getting it to the consumers who may never have heard about it.


Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director

Upcoming Events

Definitions Committee Meeting

September 29, 2015
Saskatoon, SK Canada

GRSB General Assembly Meeting

October 27-29, 2015
Radisson Blu Hotel – Amsterdam, NL

Members In The News

Here's an example of how Cargill is implementing sustainability in their supply chain, as a major player in the industry globally this will be an important demonstration of how GRSBs principles and criteria and national indicators can be used by companies implementing sustainability in their supply chain:

Cargill Begins Second Phase of Beef Cattle Sustainability Assessment Initiated Last

Dateline: 09/08/15, Source: Drovers CattleNetwork

Are your employees Beef Quality Assurance (BQA animal care and handling) certified? How are you ensuring an adequate supply of water for your cattle? Do you have a grazing land management plan in place? Answers to these and numerous additional questions will be asked of key cattle suppliers to Cargill's beef business as part of a survey questionnaire during the current phase II of the Cargill Cattle Feeders, LLC, beef cattle sustainability initiative started last December.

The Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS) announces today a public consultation on the Indicators Guidebook for Sustainable Livestock. This stage aims to get comments from organizations and opinion leaders to the Indicator Guidebook for Sustainable Livestock.

GTPS Announces Public Consultation on Indicators Guidebook for Sustainable Livestock

Farmers in New Zealand came out in strong support of continuing Beef and Lamb New Zealand's mandate to work on their behalf through levies:

Strong Farmer Support for Sheepmeat and Beef Levies to Continue

Dateline: 09/14/15, Source: Beef+Lamb NZ

Farmers have given their organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand a strong mandate to work on their behalf for the next six–year sheepmeat and beef levy cycle, with over 84 per cent support. Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman, James Parsons said the referendum was a great endorsement for the organisation and its work over the last six years.

Cattle Replace Bison to Restore US Grassland Health

Dateline: 09/04/15, Source: By Shelley Schlender, Voice of America News

Today, the Savory Institute trains ranchers around the globe to use holistic planned grazing to achieve their social and economic priorities. Savory Institute's Byron Shelton says a key is knowing when to move animals on and off of grass. Those ideas make sense to the Nature Conservancy, which is partnering with the Savory Institute. William Burnidge, Colorado Grasslands Program Director, says that in a three–year trial on the Fox Ranch, they're grazing more cattle and creating more diverse habitat.

Ahold Included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the 7th Consecutive Year

Dateline: 09/10/15, Source: Nasdaq

Ahold was included in the Food & Staples Retailing industry group in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) for the 7th consecutive year today. This demonstrates its commitment to responsible retailing. Ahold received a top score in supply chain management and raw materials sourcing, and also performed particularly well on environmental and social criteria, which are key elements in its sustainability strategy.

Ahold CEO Dick Boer said: "This recognition makes me proud of Ahold and all of our 227,000 associates. Responsible retailing is a fundamental ingredient of our Reshaping Retail strategy, and this proves that we are on the right track. Our place in this influential ranking only drives our ambition to be a responsible retailer."

Sustainability News

This is a thought provoking article for GRSB by Dr Ron Clarke in Canada – the core question in his message is, can we focus on the big issues amongst all the demands placed on us by waxing and waning consumer interests? Above all we need to ensure that we are able to demonstrate change, and not contribute "to improving the rain dance, not the weather".

Marketing Is Walking the Talk: Can the Beef Industry Do It?

Dateline: 09/15/15, Source: By Dr. Ron Clarke, Canadian Cattlemen

Beef sustainability is a catchword. It's talked about in seminars, at producer meetings, and at major industry gatherings where planning and strategy essay a future for an industry that bounces between really good and really bad. Are we making headway, or just adding to public lectures because people either don't understand what it takes to put beef steak on the table, or because it's fashionable to talk about matters like antimicrobial resistance and animal welfare?

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) founded in February 2012 was thought to be the long–awaited catalyst for advancement in beef production (me included). Important players in the business of beef dissected and discussed key issues destined to influence the future of our industry. Finally, there is a broad range of stakeholders from all sectors intent on finding answers to questions gripping an industry in the constant turmoil between highs and lows.

Swanson Russell Selected to Work with GRSB

Dateline: 09/07/15, Source:

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has selected Swanson Russell as their agency for marketing communications support. Based in Geesteren, Netherlands, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, GRSB works for the sustainability of the global beef industry in the face of environmental, social and economic challenges.

Our Members

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

Welcome to the Table!

We Welcome The Newest Members to the Roundtable

Dateline: September 2015

The Nature Conservancy

Constituency: Civil Society

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Founded in 1951, they work in more than 30 countries and in all 50 U.S. states. Their conservation efforts address global challenges to our land, water, oceans, cities and climate. They seek solutions to these challenges, using all the tools at their disposal. TNC undertakes expanding conservation efforts around the world, each that seeks to protect and restore landscapes, rivers and oceans at an unprecedented scale; transform how we use the world's natural resources by affecting policy and practices locally and globally; and inspire global action by people who value nature and its role in ensuring thriving communities and dynamic economies.

K3 Cattle Company

Constituency: Producer

K3 Cattle Company is a small, family owned and operated purebred cattle operation focused on producing the highest quality Red Angus genetics. Forrest L. Roberts is the owner of this family business, the previous Chief Executive Officer of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and current President of GRSB.

Global News

Niall Brown from Dawn Meats in Ireland talks about the origin green program and sustainability in Ireland. It is interesting to read this, particularly given the significant shift from Beef to Dairy in Ireland over the past few years.

Irish Food Sector Has Massive Green Opportunity

Dateline: 09/06/15, Source: By Niall Browne, Irish Independent

This year has already brought many challenges and opportunities for Irish agriculture. An industry with an annual output of €24bn employing over 150,000 people in Ireland, agriculture has played a pivotal role in leading the country's economic recovery and delivering a much–needed dose of national confidence.

Kepak Kilbeggan Latest Processor to Export Irish Beef to the US

Dateline: 09/09/15, Source: By Amy Forde, AgriLand

Kepak Kilbeggan has become the fifth meat processor to export Irish beef to the US, the Department of Agriculture has said. It joins ABP Clones, Foyle Donegal, Dawn Charleville and Slaney Foods who already export to the US market. The Department announced the addition of the plant as the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is promoting Irish beef in Chicago in the US.

Last night (September 8) the Minister hosted an event, featuring top international chefs providing demonstrations on dishes of Irish beef, was attended by a large number of key US buyers and food writers with the aim of increasing the profile of Irish beef as a quality premium product.

Sustainability News

What's The Beef About Raising Beef? Cattle Can Have A Positive Impact On The Environment

Dateline: 09/02/15, Source: By Lisa Barry, WEMU Radio

Maybe you're aware (or maybe you're not) that burger you're having for lunch, or that steak you had for dinner could impact the environment. I spoke to Nicolette Hahn Niman a rancher, lawyer, author, mother and University of Michigan law school graduate about her upcoming presentation about the "sustainability of beef" at Zingerman's on September 13th.

A reminder here from South Africa how different the circumstances are from country to country. While agriculture is technologically advanced in most of the country, implementation of land reform concerns huge social issues rather than technology:

Sustainable Intensification: Moving Beyond the Technical Aspects

Dateline: 09/15/15, Source: By Mike Muller, CGIAR

This post is written in response to: Sustainable intensification of agriculture: oxymoron or real deal? Sustainable intensification can address a range of global challenges. But too much of the current discussion of the sustainable intensification concept has a narrow focus on technical sustainability – what levels of productivity can be achieved, with what environmental impact and at what cost.

As has happened with the concept of sustainability more broadly, people and socio–political aspects have very quickly fallen out of discussions. Yet I suggest that, if we are to consider the potential contribution of sustainable intensification globally, the real challenges will be social and political rather than technical.

News We Can Use

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