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


Executive Director's Message

Firstly this week, I would like to warmly welcome Nicole Johnson–Hoffman back to the leadership of GRSB. In our last board call, Nicole was elected Vice President to replace Francisco Beduschi.

Nicole is well known to GRSB and has previously served on our executive board as well as being past president of the USRSB. We're delighted that Nicole and OSI are willing to contribute at such a high level to beef sustainability and we look forward to working with her.

On the 10th of August at 14:00 MST, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, NIAA is hosting a webinar on "Antimicrobial Resistance, What Producers Should Know" with Dr Bob Smith. Find the link to register on their homepage. You will also find a white paper (PDF) from their symposium "Antibiotic Use – Working Together for Better Solutions For Animal Agriculture and Human Health" of use when considering antibiotic stewardship.

There will be a break in the Connect schedule over the next two weeks, the next edition will be sent out on 29th of August.

Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
See All Members

This is a common sense attitude – and I'm sure that we'd all agree that dealing with the issue proactively is much better than being threatened with "cow police"!
What Can We Actually Do to Cut Antibiotic Use?
Dave Sjeklocha, Beef Magazine | July 31, 2017
I'll worry about that when the cow police show up." I received this response on social media a couple of years ago, after I pointed out to someone that their antibiotic regimen advice was in violation of federal regulations. I replied that, indeed, "cow police" would not be beyond the realm of possibilities if people are cavalier about how they use antibiotics.

While this statement may seem extreme, antimicrobial use and resistance will continue to be major concerns for both human health and animal health. And it is clear that we will have more regulatory supervision of antimicrobial use in the future.

Vets Help to Keep Farms Safe and Sustainable  
Vet Practice Magazine | July 27, 2017
"Veterinarians work with farmers every day to identify biosecurity, animal and human health risks and advise on systems to prevent, monitor, and manage diseases in their livestock.

"A disease outbreak in a herd or flock comes at enormous short– and long–term costs to agricultural businesses. Prevention and risk management is essential to protecting livestock against disease," says AVA president Dr Paula Parker.

Vaccines Are Part of the Solution to the Emerging Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance  
Bruce Gellin, Stat News | August 1, 2017
Superhero. Superhighway. Superglue. Adding the prefix "super" highlights a thing's unrivaled rank and elevates it above and beyond what is expected. But superbug has a different connotation. The increasing rate of resistance to antibiotics and other disease–fighting agents (collectively called antimicrobial resistance) is due in large part to the overuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock and the ability of organisms to rapidly evolve to bypass the effects of these drugs.

One clear solution is to develop new classes of antimicrobials. Another is to improve the stewardship of their use, as outlined in the World Health Organization's new recommendations for antibiotic use and embodied by broader efforts to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock farming.

Preventing infections in the first place will also reduce the need for antibiotics. That's where vaccines come in as an important part of the solution.

Protein Produced with Electricity Could Alleviate World Hunger
Feedstuffs | August 1, 2017
A batch of single–cell protein has been produced using electricity and carbon dioxide in a joint study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Protein produced in this way can be further developed for use as food and animal feed. The method releases food production from environment–related restrictions as the protein can be produced anywhere renewable energy –– such as solar energy –– is available, the researchers said.

This is the second US company I have come across using Blockchain technology to add traceability to their product recently. The first was the Minnesota based Revier Cattle Company.
Arkansas Farmers are Taking the Mystery Out of Meat  
Heifer International | August 1, 2017
A group of livestock farmers in Arkansas, supported by Heifer USA, is using cutting–edge technology to let you know where your dinner comes from.

The small–scale, forward–thinking suppliers of Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative are the first in the United States to use blockchain technology to trace their products from farm to fork, with the aim of giving consumers more confidence in the origin and quality of the meat they buy.

View More News

Largest McDonald's Franchisee Plans Sustainable Sourcing for Packaging, Palm Oil, Fish  
Jennifer Hermes, Environmental Leader | July 24, 2017
The world's largest McDonald's franchisee, Arcos Dorados, acknowledged in its just–published sustainability report that its large footprint across Latin America and the Caribbean means that it must "take a leadership role" in terms of implementing programs that will improve its environmental impact.

Recently, Arcos Dorados announced that it will be requesting information from its key suppliers on how they are managing the risks linked to deforestation. The company joined McDonald's and L'Oreal on the CDP's supply chain disclosure platform, a group which is combining the purchasing power of its members to achieve deforestation–free commodity supply chains.

2nd Annual Canadian Beef Industry Conference  
August 15–17, 2017 – BMO Conference Centre, Calgary AB. Registration is still open. The CRSB will be holding an open Council meeting on Tuesday, August 15 @ 1:30 pm as part of the conference. We hope you will all join us there! Click here for full event details.

View More News

Montana Ranchers Need Your Help
Burt Rutherford, Beef Magazine | July 31, 2017
Wildfires are raging in parts of Montana, devouring ranches and consuming cattle. Here's how you can help.

"The only reason our horses are alive, our barn is still standing, our house is still there, is because of our neighbors. There were 14– and 16–year–old kids on the back of trucks holding hoses spraying water. Nobody has slept in days. The people that are here are the ranchers, and they have not stopped working; they have not gotten out of their graders. They are trying desperately to save these ranches." She said the best help is monetary donations in order to help these ranchers begin to rebuild once this is over.

Click here for more and for a list of places that are accepting donations.

Interestingly, while vegetable based burgers claim they are healthier, the composition described below does not seem so:
The Role of Plant-Based, Meatless Meats in Sustainable Diets
FCRN Blogs: hswartz5
Both the Beyond and Impossible Burger burgers contain 20 grams of plant protein per serving, relatively equivalent to one beef patty. Compared to normal burgers, these have significantly more calories and about six times as much Sodium. The difference in fats is also striking – the Impossible Burger has 15 grams of saturated fat (triple that of a beef burger) – and may contribute to any taste differential noticed by a serious meat eater.

Both "meatless meat" options are more expensive than beef burgers. In grocery stores, the Beyond Burger sells for $5.99 for two quarter–pound patties. Compare this to a full pound of beef patties for $3 to $5. The Impossible Burger sells for $12 to $14 based on city location and additions (e.g. cheese).

Good Financial Reasons to Produce Beef from Dairy Herds   
Stuff.co.nz | August 2, 2017

"Two recent industry initiatives demonstrate the value proposition for better beef genetics – the first funded by Beef + Lamb NZ which was called the Dairy–Beef Integration Project and conducted by AgResearch over five years. The second, Beef + Lamb Genetics' dairy–beef progeny test, which is currently running on Limestone Downs.

"Both projects confirm unselected beef bulls are risky to use – they have higher levels of calving difficulty, longer gestation length and lower post–birth calf growth rate. They were often not fit for purpose."

However, the best of the beef bulls from each project demonstrated that if farmers took the time to find beef genetics that were fit for purpose it was worth the effort, First farm consultant Bob Thomson said.

PepsiCo Now Traces 90% of Palm Oil Back to the Mill to Ensure Future Supply  
Jennifer Hermes, Environmental Leader | August 2 2017

Eight major corporations including McDonald's and L'Oreal recently joined the newly–expanded supply chain platform of CDP – the non–profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests – to request information from their key suppliers on how they are managing the risks linked to deforestation. The companies say they are combining their purchasing power to achieve deforestation–free commodity supply chains.

China Bans Australian Beef Imports from Six Packing Plants
Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers | July 31, 2017

Six packing plants in Australia have been temporarily banned from exporting beef to China. On July 26, Australian trade officials confirmed that Chinese authorities had halted beef trade with six plants for labeling inaccuracies.

Chinese newspaper Global Times reports that 12 import shipments from the six packing plants were denied entry into the country because they were in violation of regulations stipulated in the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Beef that was shipped to China prior to July 24 is still able to enter the food chain, after that there is a 45 day investigation period ongoing.

Animal Welfare vs. Animal Rights: What's the Difference, Really?
Gregory Bloom, Meatingplace | August 3, 2017

Animal welfare is concerned with the best practices for ensuring proper treatment of domesticated animals, both animals raised for food and those kept as pets. As my July 6th blog stated, "They should be given a reasonably comfortable life. They should be treated with care and never abused."

Animal rights means an entirely different thing. Here's the definition from PETA's own website: "Animal rights means that animals deserve certain kinds of consideration–consideration of what is in their best interests, regardless of whether they are cute, useful to humans, or an endangered species, and regardless of whether any human cares about them at all. It means recognizing that animals are not ours to use–for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation."

This next piece is not necessarily recommended reading; I have to laugh every time I read about Tracy Hunt and his "research" – he has never once talked to anyone from GRSB, despite my reaching out to him.
Tomi Lahren, J. Dudley Butler Among R–CALF Convention Speakers
Tri–State Livestock News | July 31, 2017

"National cattle trade association R–CALF USA is making final preparations for its upcoming 18th Annual Convention to be held August 25–26 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota. Keynoting the convention will be Rapid City native and now conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren, who has supported the interests of America's independent ranchers on her vast social media platform with 4.4 million followers.

Tracy Hunt, Wyoming attorney and rancher, will present his research on the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and explain why and how this movement intends to assist multinational corporations capture the live cattle supply chain away from independent cattle producers.

View More News
Administrative Offices:
13570 Meadowgrass Drive, Suite 201
Colorado Springs, CO 80921 USA
Phone: 1-719-355-2935
Fax: 1-719-538-8847
Email: admin@grsbeef.org
Copyright © 2017 Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message as a benefit of membership to the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef