What's in the news right now about environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable beef value chain.


Executive Director's Message

I am really delighted to be able to share some exciting news with you in this Connect; we have hired a new Regional Director for Latin America. This will enable us to engage much more closely in the initiatives emerging in a number of countries in the region, including Paraguay, Colombia and Mexico.

As time goes on I expect that list will get longer. When all the contracts are signed and delivered, I will certainly share this with our membership and more widely through a press release. The executive committee and the newly expanded team met in Denver last week and were able to make good progress on budgeting and activity planning for the year.

The other good news last week was the release of Australia's draft sustainability framework for public comment. While as you probably recall, there is no formal national roundtable in Australia, the group developing the framework took our Principles and Criteria into consideration and what they have produced is definitely interesting and worthy of our members comment. Visit Sustainable Australian Beef.com to read and comment on the Australian draft beef sustainability framework.

Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
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Carbon Sequestration a Positive Aspect of Beef Cattle Grazing Grasslands  
Donald Stotts, High Plains Journal | January 5, 2017
Beef cattle grazing on grass pastures might not be the first thing people think of when discussing the subject of combatting greenhouse gas emissions, but it is an agricultural practice providing significant dividends to the effort.

"Environmental as well as economic sustainability are key elements of best management practices for agriculture, as most people involved in agriculture are well aware they are stewards of the land," said Keith Owens, Oklahoma State University associate vice president for the university's statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system. "Air, water, soil; we pay attention to all of them."

Australia's Brahman Story Underlines Value of Research and Industry Collaboration
Professor Dave Swain, Beef Central | January 9, 2017
The great experiment of introducing Brahman bloodlines into Australia laid down the ideal model of research and industry collaboration that all fields of science can still learn from today, writes CQU's Professor Dave Swain in this cross-posting from The Conversation.

First Australian Beef Sustainability Framework Released for Public Comment
James Nason, Beef Central | January 11, 2017
What is sustainable beef production in Australia? For the first time, that question now has a clearly defined answer. After 12 months of work, including wide-ranging consultation with industry and the broader community, an 11-member Sustainability Steering Group has today released Australia's first Beef Sustainability Framework.

The draft document will be open for industry and public feedback via a new a mew website until the end of February -click here to view- with the final document to be formally launched in March.

Advances in North American Livestock Production Must be Adopted World Wide
Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Farmscape Online | January 12, 2017
An Air Quality Specialist with the University of California Davis, says North American advances in the environmental sustainability of livestock production must be shared with the rest of the world if animal agriculture is to survive.

"Sustainable Intensification: How to Satisfy the Rising Demand for Animal Protein without Depleting Natural Resources" was discussed yesterday as part of the 2017 Banff Pork Seminar.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a Professor and Air Quality Specialist with the Department of Animal Science at the University of California Davis, says agriculture has to become as efficient as possible, globally, with respect to how we produce animal protein.

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JBS Selected for the Global Forests Report 2016
International Leather Maker | January 4, 2017
JBS, the world's largest meat processor, was one of the companies selected to take part in the Global Forests Report 2016 case study, published recently by the CDP (Driving Sustainable Economies).

Based on an analysis of the company's environmental risk management, the report shows that addressing deforestation issues is also critical to business success. JBS' cattle sustainability strategy has two related objectives: ensuring the company is not sourcing any of its raw materials from deforested land, or from suppliers breaching the labour rights of their employees, and working with its suppliers to help guarantee sufficient volumes of sustainable raw materials.

CCA Report: Preparing for Change  
Dan Darling, Canadian Cattlemen | January 11, 2017
As the January 20 inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump approaches, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is also preparing for the transition. We have worked hard over the years to build strong relationships with American industry and government officials and we will continue to do so.

One of the early questions is obviously related to the future of trade agreements and whether Trump will prefer for the U.S. to be the hub of several bilateral agreements instead of a participant in regional and multilateral agreements. The CCA's intention is to ensure that the interests of Canadian beef producers are advanced regardless of what cards are dealt.

Giant Landover Pilots Sustainability Rating System  
Progressive Grocer | January 11, 2017
Ahold Delhaize has joined forces with HowGood, a New York-based independent research organization and source of information on food, on a test of Giant Landover stores in Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. This represents a new region for HowGood's rating system, which aims to make it easier for consumers to identify brands they can trust, and, in turn, support an overall better food system.

Over the past nine years, HowGood has created the world's largest database of sustainable food ratings. Its unique in-store rating system, based on multiple metrics, identifies industry leaders in the food system for consumers at the point of purchase. With more than 70 industry-specific indicators per food item, from ingredient sourcing to labor practices, the organization has rated 200,000-plus products to date.

NOVO CAMPO: For those of you who are not familiar with the work that   Francisco Beduschi, our new Vice President and currently President of GTPS, does for his day job, read about ICV's Novo Campo program in Mato Grosso in their online brochure: HERE (PDF)  

Stephen Cadogan: Respected Environmentalist on the Side of the Livestock  
Stephan Cadogan, Irish Examiner | January 5, 2017
In 2003, Allan Savory won the Banksia award for the person doing the most for the environment on a global scale.

In 2010, the Savory Institute's sister organisation, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge for working to solve the world's most pressing problems.

Now, the Savory Institute is one of 11 finalists in Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Challenge to award scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

At the recent World Meat Congress in Uruguay, Allan Savory offered more than 700 meat industry leaders from 36 countries hope for their industry, which has been battered by public opinion. "With livestock out of feedlots, and back on the land, properly managed," he said, "we have the opportunity to regenerate deteriorating environments and to impact climate change significantly."
It's a welcome piece of encouraging news after so many scientists have targeted ruminant livestock as key contributors to global warming, due to their gaseous emissions.
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This story keeps coming back, in this case one of the authors of the Chatham house report repeating the message. There is still no sustained consistent reaction from the beef industry on this; there urgently needs to be concerted effort to balance some of the inaccuracies and half-truths that are repeated in such articles, and to which the general public are being constantly exposed without ever hearing that there is another side to this discussion.
Curbing Meat Consumption and Putting the Bite on Climate Change
Antony Forggatt, BRINK | January 2, 2017
The world's current appetite for meat is excessive and constitutes a pattern of over consumption that is neither healthy nor sustainable. A growing global population cannot converge around the levels of meat consumption seen in industrialized economies without huge social and environmental cost.

Global consumption of meat is expected to increase 76 percent by 2050. Consumption in emerging and developing economies is rising fast and shows no sign of slowing, while meat-eating in industrialized countries has plateaued at excessive levels. Income levels are driving the increase, putting more meat on the table in developing countries. Among industrialized countries, the average person consumes around twice the maximum amount recommended by health experts. In the United States, it's three times as much.

Beefbooster: Not Just About the Bulls
Western Producer (subscription) | January 3, 2016
Beefbooster CEO Jennifer Stewart-Smith says emotion doesn't belong in the process of selecting a bull. "While the pedigree is important, the data available for Beefbooster bulls simplifies selection decisions. We have reliable data that allows producers to select bulls that meet the specific needs of their ranch, and suits their management style."

This is how Beefbooster began. Ranchers were looking for a way to use the data they had started to collect to improve results and predictability in their herds.

Just a Bad Patch? Or Is the Cattle Sector in Denial?  
Alexis Kienlen, Alberta Farmer Express | January 3, 2017
The cattle industry needs to stop patting itself on the back and face an uncomfortable truth — its grand plan to create a bright new future isn't yielding results.

That's the view of Charlie Gracey, one of Canada's most renowned experts on the beef industry. And all you have to do is look at the shrinking number of cattle and ranchers, said the former manager of Canadian Cattlemen's Association and Ontario Beef Producers.

Since 2009, the Canadian beef herd (total cows and calves) has declined by more than a million animals. It has also lost about 20 per cent of its producers in recent years."There's been an amazing cutback, and there's been very little comment about it," said Gracey. Every industry needs new blood and if the cattle sector wants to attract and retain young producers, it "has to create the conditions to make the industry profitable," he said.

Missing Facts in R–CALF, Tomi Lahren Videos  
Sean Cummins, ArgriLand | December 24, 2016
Social media is buzzing with a handful of videos featuring a popular, conservative news host interviewing the spokesman of a cattle organization in an effort to "make the American ranch community great again."

Tomi Lahren, a television host for the cable network TheBlaze, hosted Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) CEO Bill Bullard on her program to discuss issues important to American beef producers. An initial 15-minute interview netted more than a half million views, while a shorter wrap up called "Final Thoughts with Tomi" has almost 2.6 million views. The two talked about the increasing market consolidation within the beef industry in the first segment.

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