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


Executive Director's Message

Thank you to all of our members who attended the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef in Kilkenny. The event was a great success attracting over 240 people from 25 countries. We were greatly honoured on the Thursday evening to receive Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle, a beef farmer himself. We were also joined by Secretary General of the same Department, Brendan Gleeson.

We would like to thank our partners once again; in particular, Premier Partner OSI Food Group, LLC; Platinum Partners Bord Bia, Cargill, Dawn Meats, McDonald's and Zoetis; Diamond Partners Corteva agriscience and JBS; Gold Partners A&W Food Services of Canada, Allflex, Deloitte and Merck Animal Health; Silver Partners NCBA and Rabobank; and Supporters Kepak and USRSB.

Below you will find the coverage that has appeared so far; we understand that there will be some more over the coming weeks.

For further coverage of the conference please see our Facebook page, search Twitter or Instagram for #GlobalBeef18. Full presentations including videos of the plenary sessions will be posted at grsbeef.org within a week of this newsletter.

Thank you!

Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
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Allflex Livestock Intelligence
Dateline: October 2018 | Constituency: Commerce & Processing
Allflex Livestock Intelligence, part of Antelliq, is the world leader in the design, development, manufacturing and delivery of solutions for animal identification, monitoring, farm management, and traceability. Their solutions empower farmers to act in a timely manner, to safeguard their animals’ health, while achieving optimal production outcomes for a healthy, sustainable food supply.


Global Conference on Sustainable Beef Coverage

ABP Trials Indicate Potential for Beef Carbon Reduction  
Breifne O'Brien, AgiLand | October 12, 2018
Initial results from trials on ABP's research and development farm have indicated the potential for a 13% carbon reduction. The research suggests that this can be achieved through the use of improved genetics in beef animals from the dairy herd. These findings were announced to an international delegation of sustainability practitioners from the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

The research is part of a multi–year project carried out on–farm by ABP in conjunction with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Teagasc.

Beef's Nutrient Value Needs to Be Part of Sustainability Equation  
Shan Goodwin, Queensland Country Life | October 17, 2018
Factoring into the sustainability equation the nutritional value of beef and the extent to which its production makes use of non–arable land was a key concept to emerge from an international industry event in Ireland this month. NSW beef breeder and Cattle Council of Australia vice president Tony Hegarty presented at the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef in Kilkenny.

He said the idea was promoted of measuring the beef industry's greenhouse gas emissions not just against straight kilograms produced but against the nutrient dense nature of that beef and the use of land unsuitable for other forms of food production.

"The industry needs to tell the story we produce a nutrient–rich food which is very important to the requirements of an increasing world population," Mr Hegarty said. "The ruminant animal's role in the maintenance of grasslands is not being valued as it should. It is the only tool we have with non–arable land. Societies as a rule value arable land for cropping, and forest, but not grasslands. As livestock producers we have to prosecute that case better."

Iconic Hamburger Chain Working Hard to Get Sustainable Beef on A Bun  
Victoria G. Myers, Progressive Farmer | October 12, 2018
In four short years, McDonald's has gone from having a vague idea about buying some nebulous thing called "sustainable beef" to selling Angus burgers carrying Canada's sustainability logo in restaurants in that country. It's the first commercial taste consumers are getting of work that started in 2014. And it's coming soon to the U.S. market.

In the U.S., McDonald's is working on projects aimed at building a supply of beef that can meet metrics being established by the U.S. Roundtable of Sustainable Beef (USRSB). Those metrics are in a public comment period. Currently, the corporation is part of two pilot programs in the U.S. with ranchers, researchers and others across the supply chain.

In an interview with DTN/The Progressive Farmer, McDonald's Corporation's Townsend Bailey, director of supply chain sustainability, and Keith Kenny, vice president of sustainability, noted while Canada is the first commercial success for the beef sustainability program, there's much more ahead

Growing Irish Beef: Family Farm Focuses on Sustainable Production but Faces Regulatory Challenges  
Victoria G. Myers, Progressive Farmer | October 15, 2018
On a cloudy, windy day, a group of visitors from around the world gathered at the generations–old farm of John and Catherine Powers. As a flagship beef producer for McDonald's, they have some experience hosting visitors. John Powers told the group Nebraska ranchers had visited him the week before.

"The sheer size of what they do in other parts of the world is amazing to me," Powers said.

With 400 acres and 200 cows, his farm is considered large by Irish standards. Just like many U.S. ranchers, John said one of his primary goals is to pass this operation onto the next generation, his son Allen, in better shape than he found it. He's turned to the tools of sustainability to help him do that.

"We have a passion for sustainability," he told the crowd. "We're not doing it for the money. It's tradition here for the land to pass down, and today land is very expensive."

Climate Scientists on Beef Impact  
Irish Farmers Journal, Speaker.com | October 16. 2018v
Irish Farmers Journal news correspondent Thomas Hubert meets climate scientists Michael Lee and Tim McAllister at the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef. Listen to 8:58 audio HERE.

How ICBF and Cattle Genetics Are Changing The Sustainability Game  
Irish Cattle Breeding Federation.com
The latest addition to the ICBF presentations page is a presentation on 'How ICBF and cattle genetics are changing the sustainability game'put together by Kevin Downing ICBF.

This presentation was presented by Kevin Downing at the global conference on sustainable beef which took place last week in Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny.

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) is a global, multi–stakeholder initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science and multi–stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The GRSB envisions a world in which all aspects of the beef value chain are environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable.

Kevin gave this presentation as part of the Thursday breakout session titled 'Animal Health and Innovation in Action: How Cattle Genetics, Resistance and more are changing the Sustainability Game. This 90 minute session also included presentations from Claudio Cabral (Silvateam, Argentina) and Zsolt Szeidemann (Bayer Animal Health, Germany). Kevin's presentation along with the work ongoing at ICBF were received exceptionally well by the conference attendees.

This subject of this article and the report linked to it was covered in our Deloitte sponsored sunrise session.
Beefing up Blockchain: How Blockchain can Transform the Irish Beef Supply Chain
As the demand for beef continues to grow resulting in increased exports, there is a greater need for end–to–end traceability, quality and safety assurance globally. Traditional supply chains need to be transformed to meet these requirements and it is proposed that this is achieved by utilising new technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Data Analytics.

This report is concentrated around the beef industry in Ireland, the benefits of Blockchain and the value it can generate when applied to the beef industry, The report provides identified use cases that can be implemented globally.

The six use cases identified for the technology, presented in this report, that can create significant value for the industry's end–to–end supply chain and more over sustainability and safety are:

  • Grass Fed Assurance
  • End–to–End Traceability
  • Trade Finance
  • Consumer Engagement
  • Consumer Feedback Loop
  • Certification
To demonstrate how Blockchain is already transforming the beef supply chain, the report showcases a case study from Wyoming Beef Producers who are in the process of implementing "BeefchainTM". This allows the rancher to receive a premium price for beef and provides consumers with greater confidence in beef they consume.
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