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


Executive Director's Message

The week before last saw many GRSB members and others with an interest in beef sustainability gather in Chicago for a series of meetings hosted at McDonald's headquarters.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who took the time to attend and participate so enthusiastically; a multi stakeholder organisation such as GRSB relies on our members to make things happen and with over a hundred participants from 13 countries at these meetings we certainly did cover a lot of ground in four days.

The first in the series was our strategic planning meeting, which built upon the input we received from you through the survey and interviews over the past two months. Thirty members from around the world spent the day looking at what we have done so far in line with our previous strategic plan, what we envision GRSB achieving in the coming 10 years, and refining the plan accordingly. There was a good level of consensus around additions to be made, centred around the need to set goals or challenges for us as a network to achieve, with associated SMART targets.

With these comes the need for a system to measure and report on progress. We also need to involve a wider range of stakeholders to reach the whole chain. When complete, the updated plan will be presented to members and we will start the process of filling in the details – i.e. requesting participation in working groups to define the goals, reporting systems and associated work.

The second of our Chicago meetings was the communicators summit, for which we had one hundred and twenty participants from all over the world. This helped add detail to the communication part of our strategic planning discussion. It was also a useful opportunity for members to discuss how and what they communicate about beef sustainability and consider how the beef industry needs to position itself in the coming years.

The summit was intended to be the first step in a more active engagement with members around communication on sustainability, so we also looked at some of the science around beef sustainability, particularly with regard to GHGs, and will be organising online events to look at other areas in the coming months. On the second morning of the communicators summit, we welcomed Howard Parry–Husbands from Pollinate in Australia to facilitate a design thinking workshop around communication, something he has been actively involved with in Australia with both the forestry and beef industries.

To follow up on the summit, a number of volunteers have offered to reinvigorate our communications council and come up with a defined objective, strategy, process and milestones for the Board and EC's consideration to ensure that will result in a compelling, inclusive, credible and aligned global beef sustainability narrative to be leveraged by GRSB constituents and roundtables.

Our Thursday afternoon board meeting took a deeper dive into Phase 1 of the GHG project, with a presentation by Viresco Solutions on the work they have done. What was certainly clear from this is the fact that there are a lot of inconsistencies in which GHG work is currently handled and a number of question marks on how to account for carbon sequestration in soils and for methane emissions. Viresco did an excellent job of looking at the methodologies and tools being used around the world, and it is clear that we now need to build consensus on priorities going forward. I know that many member organisations will already be working on some of these issues, and that they are important for the beef industry as a whole, so I would like to ask you to become involved in this work by introducing any of your colleagues with expertise in the area of GHGs to participate in phase 2 of this project.

On Friday we held our regular board meeting in which we heard from all of the national roundtables present, including Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, , US, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. Five new members (3 from Latin America) were proposed and accepted by the board. They will be introduced to you through Connect when on–boarding is complete.

We also agreed on the dates for our board meeting to be held in New Zealand; 12th, 13th and 14th of November which will include a field visit. Details on the program and location will follow shortly, but please save these dates if you can possibly make it to New Zealand, I know that it will be a very interesting trip, particularly for those who have not visited the country. Another important decision taken was that the location of the 2020 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef will be in Paraguay! The dates are as yet undecided, but the usual time of year for the conference is at the end of the third quarter. Many thanks to the Paraguayan Roundtable for being willing to host the conference and presenting the opportunity to the board of directors in Chicago.

I have selected a number of articles this week that vary in tone. Notice the difference between defensive, reactive articles, and the more proactive. Messages for different audiences will undoubtedly vary in tone; we should remain aware of the power of words to exacerbate or diffuse a difference of opinion.

Thank you!

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

Modern Farming Offers a Climate–Smart Future for Europe's Livestock
Roxane Feller, Animalhealth Europe | June 2, 2019
We must recognise how far the livestock sector has come in Europe and how progress has been applied to ensure a more sustainable production.

Tax Junk Food Not Meat, Jury Says
Footprint | May 30, 2019
Representatives from the NFU and the Sustainable Food Trust challenged the idea that a meat tax was necessary and inevitable to address the health and environmental issues associated with its consumption, arguing that eating meat in moderation can have nutritional value, while sustainable livestock production can have benefits for people and the environment..

Beef Cattle Industry Has a Great Story to Tell on Climate Change
Ag Daily | May 22, 2019
Testifying on behalf of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Kansas cattle producer Debbie Lyons–Blythe delivered a clear message at the hearing regarding the cattle industry's effect on climate change.

Livestock Industry Must Be More Environmentally Sustainable
Jenny O'Sullivan, Weekly Times (subscription)
Farmers are the frontline environmentalists. We need a healthy natural environment for our farms to thrive and we understand that our livestock and …

Research Shows Grazing Cover Crops Profitable to Dryland Farmers
Dan Crummett, No–Till Farmer | June 1, 20199
Recent research in the High Plains is showing cover crop and forage mixtures offer soil–building and profit potential even to growers in areas of low rainfall.

Interview: IKEA's Dedication to Sustainability
All About Feed | May 27, 2019
We asked Christoph Mathiesen, Sustainability Developer at IKEA Food to explain more about the plans to delve deeper into animal (aqua)feed. His job is fully dedicated to sustainability in the IKEA food business. Mr Mathiesen works directly with suppliers and advisors on how the IKEA Food business can achieve the sustainability goals that it has set.

Sustainable Livestock Farming: Achieving sustainability goals in livestock farming, needs to be a collaborative effort between policymakers, farmers and consumers. Measures taken now, act as an insurance policy for future generations, to ensure a safe and abundant food for the growing global population.

Here are examples of sustainability reporting from our members:
Ahold Delhaize Sustainability Report

Canadian Cattlemen's Association

Cargill Beef Sustainability

CBB and NCBA Sustainability Site

CRSB Annual Report

JBS Sustainability Report

McDonald's Beef Sustainability Site

OSI Sustainability

Tyson Sustainability

USRSB Annual Report

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 ©2019 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