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


Executive Director's Message

We are now moving into setting GRSB goals as outlined in our strategic plan; this is going to require significant member input and volunteer time. The first areas that we are going to tackle involve GHG and land conversion. We already have a group working on the follow up of our GH work earlier this year, so if you want to be part of that work please inform me and Angela and we will ensure that your name is added to the group being led by Tim Hardman.

Land Conversion is clearly going to be a major topic in the coming year, as 2020 is the year by which many companies have committed to deforestation free supply chains.

As our conference is being held in Paraguay next year, we will be in the spotlight in a country that is the focus for many for forest preservation, specifically in the Chaco region. Conversion does not exclusively refer to deforestation however, and conversion of rangelands is more of a concern in other regions, just as deforestation is of concern in many regions beyond Latin America.

As you know, we have had a joint working group on Forests for many years, and it is time to rejuvenate this in new form. Simon Hall made some recommendations at the board meeting that we will be following up with, and will inform you as we require volunteers for that. Again, please let myself and / or Angela know if you wish to be part of that work.

On the subject of the conference, we have an outline plan for the conference, which will be held at the Sheraton hotel in Asuncion, Paraguay, on September 21–25. I encourage you all to plan to be there, as it promises to be extremely interesting, both because of the location as well as being the opportunity to hear about all of the progress being made by national roundtables around the globe.


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

Why Sustainability?
The Cattle Site | November 19, 2019
When the topic of sustainability comes up in conversation in cattle circles, it's common to see heads shaking. It's not a topic we like to discuss in our industry – primarily because it's so often raised with bad intentions and worse information. We bristle because we've been doing things right in our business for many generations and it's difficult to accept that outsiders have influence in how we're doing business, writes Ethan Lane, Vice President, Government Affairs, US National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

Increasingly, though, that's exactly what's happening. In the case of sustainability, consumers have decided they ought to have a better understanding and perhaps even a say in how their food is produced.

Now, we don't have to like the fact that consumers and in many cases outside interest groups have turned a spotlight on beef production, but there is tremendous interest in how food is produced. You can probably trace the origins back to the rise of Food Network and celebrity chefs, but special interests also played a role in the attention that's paid to modern food production and the practices used to raise cattle and produce beef. The natural evolution of that interest was the conversation about sustainability and whether a product is viewed by consumers as "sustainable."

Beef Roundtable Singing from Sustainability Song Sheet
Pam Tipa, Rural News | December 4, 2019
The New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (NZRSB) will call in the new year for people and groups to register their interest in being involved.

An inaugural forum will likely be held for those who want to find out more, chair of the steering committee, Justin Courtney told Rural News.

The NZRSB, launched last month, is part of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), committed to ensuring the beef sector is economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound.

Founding participants include ANZCO, B+LNZ Ltd, Greenlea Premier Meats, Fonterra, McDonald's, Silver Fern Farms, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and farmer food producers.

Courtney reports "incredibly positive" feedback since the launch from farmer producers and other interest groups who want to be involved.

"We have had interest from some other support agencies such as banks in particular, who said this is a good forum to understand the challenges and opportunities for our industry," he said. "We have also had interest from other red meat processors.

Regenerative Agriculture as a Tool to Help Limit Climate Change
Steve Kenyon, Canadian Cattlemen | December 3, 2019
There sure seems to be a lot of hype about climate change lately. I'm not a scientist but as a producer, a change in weather can affect my business a great deal. The big push seems to be about reducing emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere. Everyone is blaming everyone else about putting too much carbon in the air. "Weather" you believe in climate change or not, as a producer it shouldn't be about removing carbon from the air, it should be all about adding carbon to your soil. Of course, using less will help reduce our operating costs, and that just sounds like a good business plan to me.

All plants sequester carbon from the air through the magic of photosynthesis. The question is: Do you capture more than you release? Do you want to be a net emitter or a net sequesterer? Sequestering carbon does not have to be all about saving the world. Do it for your farm, for your soil and for your profitability.

Modern agriculture takes some dirt, adds fertility and grows a crop. It removes nutrients from the dirt to grow a plant. These nutrients then have to be replaced. The fuel, fertilizer and chemical used to grow the crop are emitting more carbon than the crop sequesters. This is a net emitter of carbon.

Regenerative agriculture takes some dirt, adds some plants and develops an ecosystem that produces its own fertility. It continually adds carbon and fertility to the soil.

UPS Tracks Beef Shipment from Farm to Table with New Technology
Kelly Yamanouchi, Chicago Tribune | November 13, 2019
UPS demonstrated blockchain–verified tracking of a shipment of Black Angus beef from Kansas to the table of a Japanese steakhouse last week.

The shipping firm said consumers want to know more about the food they consume, but there is no known global standard for tracing and verification.

UPS is partnering with agricultural technology firm HerdX Inc. for blockchain–traced international beef shipments. A blockchain is a network for transactions entered into digital "ledger," which cannot be altered without approval of those in the network.

View More News



Rabobank Global Animal Protein Outlook 2020
WEBWIRE | November 13, 2019
RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness published its annual global animal protein outlook today. In general, African swine fever (ASF) overwhelms the outlook for 2020 – as it has done during 2019 – and will pull down overall growth, as well as bring uncertainty to all markets. In short, in 2020, the global animal protein sector faces an uncertain world, which also offers opportunities for some.

Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist Animal Protein at RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, summarizes what 2020 will bring: "Besides the impact of ASF, many trade disputes and issues are causing uncertainty for global animal protein, with the US–China trade war the most apparent – but not the only – trade uncertainty. In addition, the ongoing rise of alternative proteins also adds to the uncertainty – even though Rabobank has a less bullish view of alternatives than others do."

The report also covers sustainability developments, which are slightly less prominent than the above issues. However, says Sherrard: "In our view, sustainability is just as important as other areas of uncertainty, as it will shape the growth of animal protein production and consumption through the 2020s."

Accountability Is Necessary in the Beef Industry's Future
Abbie Burnett, BEEF Magazine | November 14, 2019
The United States lacks a full animal disease traceability program and there is no doubt that one day, the lack of a program could cause chaos in the markets. Take the BSE outbreak 16 years ago. It cost the beef industry and estimated $9 billion by shutting down exports. All these years later and still no national traceability program? The consumers have shown they want it. Four Sixes Ranch manager Joe Leathers let some exasperation show while addressing the Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo this summer agrees its necessary.

Leathers said even if traceability technology didn't happen to pay its own way up front, there's no room for debate. "The consumer wants it. End of discussion," he said. "Whether their concerns or their desires are realistic, it makes zero difference."

More and more consumers simply want to know more about their food. "Who is responsible for giving them what they want and need so that we can sell our product for a higher price? We are. Yet our industry is segmented in arguing and bickering," Leathers noted.

He said cattlemen have been given a rare opportunity, one of the few times the federal government has said, "We want the producers to come up with a plan."

McDonald's: The Better M Initiative Towards Sustainability
Sam Mehmet, New Food | November 14, 2019
McDonald's has expanded its sustainability efforts with the launch of its new initiative 'Better M'. New Food spoke to Keith Kenny, Vice President of Sustainability at McDonald's, about the launch and the different elements that the project encompasses.

Sustainability is a prime focus of the majority of global industries, with the food and beverage market playing a lead role. Every day, less plastic is being used in food and beverage packaging, and recycling has become a modern norm.

However, as we often hear in the news, more still needs to be done. New Food spoke to Keith Kenny, Vice President of Sustainability at McDonald's, about its latest venture – the Better M programme – to understand how the restaurant is contributing towards a more sustainable world.

Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Sets Out 5 Priorities for the Coming Decade
Real Agriculture | November 18, 2019
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef held its general assembly at Christchurch, New Zealand, last week. As chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Anne Wasko was there and shares her insight and experience below:

As the current chair of Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), I was pleased to represent CRSB at the recent Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) in New Zealand.

The GRSB is a global, multi–stakeholder initiative developed to advance the continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science, and multi–stakeholder engagement and collaboration. GRSB envisions a world where beef is a trusted part of a thriving food system in which the beef value chain is environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable.

Cargill Aims to Cut Supply Chain Emissions by 30% Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sam Danley, Food Business News | December 3, 2019
Cargill is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chain by 30% per ton of product by 2030. The commitment builds on the company's previously announced goal to reduce absolute emissions by 10%.

The goals were approved by the Science Based Target Initiative, a collaboration between environmental nonprofit CDP, The United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (W.R.I.) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (W.W.F.).

View More News


Gucci Boss Calls On Business Leaders To Deliver Net–Zero Supply Chains  
Edie | November 20, 2019
The CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge is a call to action that calls on businesses to expand net–zero and carbon–neutral commitments with action plans that address the urgency of the climate emergency by also tackling emissions generated in supply chains. For some companies, supply chain emissions, known as Scope 3, can account for more than 90% of their entire carbon footprint. "I am issuing a challenge to CEOs across industries to come together and commit to carbon neutrality across their entire supply chains. The science is telling us that our long–term reduction targets are just not good enough and we need to act now," Gucci's chief executive Marco Bizzarri said.

"While our companies focus on reaching these targets over the next decades, the majority of our GHG emissions are still being generated in our supply chains every year. We must all own up to these remaining emissions immediately and translate them into protecting biodiversity and critical forests around the world." The CEO challenge calls on businesses to deliver annual reports on their progress in tackling operational and value chain emissions. It also calls for businesses to invest in "nature–based solutions" such as enhancing biodiversity and reforestation to act as carbon sinks, in order to mitigate unavoidable emissions via carbon offsets. Research suggests that these nature–based solutions can account for 30% of the climate action required by 2030.

An important aspect of the challenge is that businesses do not solely rely on nature or offsets to continue operating as normal.

NMSU Receives a Grant to Research Sustainable Beef Production
Melissa R. Rutter, NMSU News | November 25, 2019
Environmental conditions are driving up the cost of raising cattle in the Southwest but researchers at New Mexico State University have received a grant to help find new ways to make cattle ranching more sustainable.

NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences received an $8.9 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study ways to improve the sustainability of beef production in the Southwest.

Southern Tablelands Initiative Recognised for Innovative Agriculture
Alex Rea, About Regional | December 1, 2019
With the implications of climate change growing louder in community consciousness, one group has been concentrating on land, soil and food production in innovative ways.

'Land to Market Australia' (L2MA), based on the NSW Southern Tablelands, has been named Grand Champion of the 2019 NSW Landcare Awards for the Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Award.

Carbon Farming Plan a Win for Pastoralists  
Jenne Brammer, The West Australian | December 5, 2019
Embattled southern rangelands pastoralists have been thrown a major lifeline, following a landmark decision by the McGowan Government to enable carbon farming in WA.

For the first time in WA's history, pastoralists will be able to earn carbon credits from sequestering carbon on pastoral lands, under a system known as Human Induced Regeneration carbon farming.

"This is a game changer. This will allow us to see the pastoral rangelands finally have a solid pathway to recovery, and help deal with some of the issues of climate change," said Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

Already, 43 WA carbon farming projects have contracted more than five million tonnes of carbon abatement via the Commonwealth Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide $70 million over 25 years to pastoralists who manage stock in a way that enables regeneration of the land.

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 ©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