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

Executive Director's Message:

I hope many of you managed to tune into our webinar on GWP* last week. It was well attended with 161 people in total from around 20 countries.

It was very useful to have Professor Allen provide us with the background and logic for an alternative metric to measure the warming impact of methane. The panelists also presented some excellent questions, and the subject of several of those are worthy of further discussion because in several cases they have to do more with policy than science.

If you were unable to attend, you can find a recording below. The video is protected and you will need to use the password grsbeef2020 to view it. 

View May 2020 Webinar
"Understanding GWP*: A New Metric for Estimating Global Warming Potential of Short-lived Climate Pollutants"


The fact that the policy discussions have been going for years, and will continue, is important background to why GRSB thinks it is so important that our members have an interest and let their voice be heard on this subject.

As Professor Allen said during his presentation, it’s not necessarily the best thing to let physicists make policy recommendations to politicians, neither of whom are involved in producing food. One thing is clear – GWP* more accurately represents the warming impact of methane; but equally there are questions of legacy emissions, efficiency metrics, compatibility with standing commitments and most importantly of all, what to do in practice that are not addressed by the science and were not intended to be.

At the risk of sounding facetious, we may be none the wiser but we are better informed. The topic of GWP* will be discussed further by our GHG subgroup on metrics and methods led by Brenna Grant at Canfax. Please get in touch if you want to be involved.

Work has been continuing on all three of the initial Goal areas; GHG, Land Use Change, and Animal Wellbeing. We now have technical summaries for each and are ready to use those as the basis for setting the goals.

Another critical part of our Strategic Plan for the year is Communications, and in response to our request for proposals to help with communications, we received a total of 33 proposals by the deadline on 20th May. Many of these are excellent, and we are now in the process of reviewing these and producing a short list of firms to interview. 


Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
May 26, 2020

Welcome to our newest GRSB member: 
Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Upcoming Webinar June 25, 2020; Reducing Pressure for Land Conversion

Our next webinar will be on the subject of land conversion, which is also one of the areas for which we are setting a goal. Josefina Eisele, GRSB Director for Latin America is Co-Chairing the working group on Land Conversion with Simon Hall from NWF.

Here is Josefina’s update from that group:

"The Joint Working Group on Land-Use Change (JWG), is a technical working group of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the network of national and regional beef and cattle roundtables around the world, focused on helping advance solutions that protect forests and native vegetation and promote more sustainable cattle value chains.

"In 2020, the JWG on Land Use Change has reunited to align its work with the GRSB new Strategic Plan and specifically the development and implementation of the proposed global goal on land-use change, encompassing forests and native vegetation, in alignment with the GRSB Principles and Criteria.

"The development of this goal is being addressed together with 35 other representatives from different countries and organizations around the world. It seeks to set an ambitious goal for the next 10 years, but one that also reflects local reality and, above all, the vision of producers.

"It is expected to have a final objective along with its implementation plan for September 2020, after a long process of internal and external consultation.

"Additionally, the JWG is working in exchange with other existing platforms such as the Tropical Forest Alliance and the Consumer Goods Forum, to align and coordinate global and local efforts.

"The JWG is an open group, any GRSB member can join."

Watch for registration information coming soon. 

New Zealand to Review Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets

Aidan Fortune, Global Meat News | April 27, 2020

A request by the New Zealand government to review greenhouse gas reduction targets has been welcomed by the country’s red meat sector.

B+LNZ’s Environment Policy Manager Dylan Muggeridge says; "The Climate Change Commission is best placed to ensure there’s consistency between New Zealand’s international and domestic targets, and to provide scientifically-sound, depoliticised advice to the Government. We support Minister Shaw’s request to the Commission. The Government took a world leading split-gas approach to the Zero Carbon Act and we ask that the Commission consider if New Zealand’s international target should be re-communicated as a split-gas target."

B+LNZ is also encouraged that the Minister has asked the Commission to take a specific look at the reductions required from biogenic methane emissions. While B+LNZ supported the ground-breaking split-gas approach taken in the Zero Carbon Act, there are still issues with New Zealand’s methane targets not being in line with the latest science.

"Sheep and beef farmers are absolutely committed to playing their part in responding to climate change. Beef + Lamb New Zealand ultimately wants to ensure that the targets set in legislation support delivering absolute reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular fossil fuel emissions, in order to meet New Zealand’s international commitments. This needs to be done in a way that supports the wellbeing of New Zealand and all New Zealanders, including those contributing to our food production sector and our rural communities.

"With the Commission having essentially been provided with a clean sheet to examine the latest available scientific evidence on biogenic methane and to reflect New Zealand’s circumstances when providing this advice, we’re looking forward to their consideration of new and more accurate methodologies for calculating the global warming potential (GWP) of methane through the University of Oxford’s GWP*."

Surge in Deforestation Commitments

National Wildlife Federation

In the past several years, there has been a surge in zero deforestation commitments. In 2010, the board of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network of more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and associations, approved a board resolution, pledging to mobilize resources to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.4.18 The CGF aims to achieve this through the responsible sourcing of key agricultural commodities, including beef. In support of this commitment, the CGF joined with others to create the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA), which brings together industry, national governments and civil society groups in the largest public-private initiative of its type, to address deforestation and the sourcing of beef and other key commodities.


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