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

Executive Director's Message:

Following our webinar in May on GWP*, we were requested by our members in Australia to host another one jointly with Cattle Council of Australia at a more amenable time for people there. Rather than repeat exactly the same experience, we asked two of Professor Allen’s co-authors to present.

Both Dr Adrian Macey and Dr Dave Frame are based in New Zealand, which helped in terms of time zone. Dave gave us a review of the science and the need for considering different metrics reflecting the actual warming caused by different gases, and Adrian gave some very useful insights into the policy implications.

Once again, it was made quite clear that while there may be important questions of fairness in terms of ‘grandfathering’ of emissions, those are a quite separate issue from that of which metric one uses. It is also clear that countries reporting under the Paris agreement are quite free to choose how they report and may do so using a combination of metrics. For those with a keen interest in the subject, this was a very useful follow up to Myles Allen’s presentation and definitely provided some additional insights.

View 2nd May 2020 Webinar
"Understanding GWP*: A New Metric for Estimating
Global Warming Potential of Short-lived Climate Pollutants"
Australia/New Zealand
(Password grsbeef2020)

To wrap up all of this discussion, Brenna Grant of Canfax has produced a summary of the issues for our metrics and methodology working group, and this will be brought to the large GHG group and then to members for consideration.

The GHG working group has three main areas of work under the overall guidance of Tim Hardman. Brenna is leading the metrics and methodology work, while Pete Garbutt from McDonald's has launched the subgroup focusing on Carbon sequestration, as has has already been involved in the significant work undertaken by the dairy industry and Quantis in the C-sequ project, and will be basing GRSBs activities in this area on that.

The third stream is on goal development, and to assist with that, Dr Roger Cady has produced a technical summary document in the same way that our other working groups have to set out the considerations for goal setting. Please see the GRSB Council and Working Group Calendar for upcoming meeting dates and times. (Login required.)

This week we are joining the Tropical Forest Alliance and the World Economic Forum for a virtual dialogue between China and Brazil on "A Positive Future for Cattle: What opportunities exist for continuous improvement and sustainable outcomes in animal-based protein production?" Josefina Eisele and Simon Hall who jointly run our working use on Land Use Change have been closely involved in organising the event, and will be sharing the content of the discussion and the lessons learned with you.


Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
June 9, 2020

Welcome to our New Members, AgResearch from New Zealand,
and Dr Roger Cady, well known to many of you as he was a member
of our board and executive committee for several years when
he was with Elanco.

Personal Invitation to June 25th Webinar from Josefina Eisele, GRSB Director for Latin America

"Bridging Zero Deforestation and Legal Compliance in the Beef Value Chain: From Constructive Debate to Practical Solutions"

The free 90-minute webinar will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Central U.S. Time. (2:00 p.m. UTC)

Following expert presentations on the current situation regarding deforestation, there will be a panel discussion among representatives from various segments of the beef value chain. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.

Please register for the free webinar


July Webinar:
Animal Wellbeing

In July our webinar will be in the subject of Animal Wellbeing. I would like to invite members to provide suggestions as to the content of the webinar to ensure that it is meeting your needs in this critically important area of beef sustainability, and the third of our Goals which we are setting this year.

August  Webinar:
Technology to assist in management and system insights

Looking even further ahead to August, we have had interesting discussions recently with technology providers in the areas of blockchain, mapping (for grazing management) and monitoring, all of which could play a part in demonstrating the benefits and value of sustainable practices. Again, if you have ideas to contribute to a webinar on technology that helps increase adoption and demonstrates the benefits of sustainable practice, please let me know!

We have continued with the selection process for our communications strategy and will be conducting online interviews with six agencies next week. The standard of many of the proposals was very high, and the communications council is looking forward to taking this next step and presenting the preferred candidate to you.

Cattle Producers Want Best Science for Measuring Methane

Farm Online | June 3, 2020

PEAK beef producer group Cattle Council of Australia wants a full scientific assessment of modeling used to calculate the impact of beef on climate change and the alternative global warming potential model. CCA President Tony Hegarty said with the broader red meat industry committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, it is important to use the best available science to measure the impact of cattle-produced methane.

Amazon Deforestation Gig Economy Booms Despite COVID-19

Gustavo Faleiros, Mongabay | June 3, 2020

Some experts hoped that COVID-19 would slow Amazon deforestation, but early indications are that the reverse is happening. From January to April 2020, the rate of Amazon deforestation alerts rose sharply by 55%. Deforestation is linked closely with fires, so a challenging fire season is expected this year.

Federal Court Rules in Favour of Live Exporters in Landmark Class Action Against Commonwealth Government

Lucy Barbour and Clint Jasper, ABC Rural | June 2, 2020

Northern Australian cattle producers are celebrating after the Federal Court Tuesday ruled a 2011 live export ban imposed by the Commonwealth was unlawful. After 18 months of deliberation, Justice Steven Rares ruled former agriculture minister Joe Ludwig acted with misfeasance when the then Gillard government introduced the ban. Justice Rares found Mr Ludwig had "committed misfeasance" because he acted unlawfully in his position of public office.

To Reduce Greenhouse Gas and Produce Better-Tasting Beef, a Cattle Federation Tests Blockchain

Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes | October 10, 2019

"Our #1 priority is to make cattle farmers profitable by helping them consistently produce the best tasting and most eco-friendly meat and dairy products on the market," says Karl O’Connell, integration manager at the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation.

"It’s easy to think that the only way farmers can reduce GHG emissions is by reducing the size of their herds," O’Connell quips. "But that’s just not true." By breeding smaller cows, or those with fewer methane-producing microbes in their stomachs, farmers’ herds will literally belch less gas.

Please see a summary of all meetings, calls and webinars on our event calendar in the member area of the website.

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