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

Register NOW for the 2021
Global Conference on Sustainable Beef!

Register Here

See below for more important details!

Executive Director's Message:

Happy Easter to everyone, I hope you had the chance for a short break and a peaceful and relaxing Easter.

Thanks to all who submitted your feedback on the goals. We received wide ranging comments on all three of the goals, and are working with people around the world to find wording that works in an international context, giving the flexibility for National Roundtables to contribute meaningfully from their area, but maintaining ambition.

It's worth remembering how we arrived at this point: In our strategic planning session in Chicago, back in May 2019, our membership was in full agreement that the next step for GRSB was to set Global Goals.

Having worked together for nearly ten years, our members felt that we had reached the level of maturity and trust that would be required and a stage in development that asked us to be moving the needle. Our network of National Roundtables are doing this directly around the world, and it's essential for us to be able to show the progress that they are making and translate this into a global picture and ambition for continuous improvement.

Despite the challenges that 2020 brought to many of our members, it was heartening to see the increasing level of commitment to GRSB, and the excellent levels of engagement across our working groups. This was certainly needed, as despite a decrease in anti-livestock reporting in global media, it is clear that those opposed to livestock were far from idle during 2020.

This year, the rhetoric is being ramped up again stronger than ever on a number of fronts. Human health, climate, biodiversity and land take are all areas being used to criticise livestock production systems, and the criticism is coming from highly influential quarters.

A lot of interests happen to align in this message, and together they do have the power to influence national policies around the world.

With global consumers further than ever from food production, it has become all too easy for well resourced opponents to spread confusing messages about where food comes from and how it is produced. In doing so, they can create antipathy towards animal source foods, much of which is based on skewed information.

I see it as an important part of our job to share a truthful and science-based narrative on the positive role that cattle production systems can play in human nutrition, in ecosystem services including climate, water and biodiversity and in the livelihoods of millions of people.

We can do this because of the examples we have: A global network of people committed to continuously improving how we produce, process and get beef to our consumers.

There are huge differences between our stakeholders, and undoubtedly there are disagreements, but our absolute strength lies in that commitment to improvement, and to finding constructive answers to challenges we face along the way.

This is as true of our goals as anything, we will certainly be able to find language that works around the world. It will take a little longer than we had originally planned, but we will get there. There may be individuals or organisations that cannot commit to the ambitions of the global industry, and that is to be expected. We define consensus as being an absence of sustained dissent from the majority of members. We cannot expect unanimity, though we may aspire to it.

Our conference will be an excellent opportunity to discuss some of the issues that members have raised, and put forward the solutions that we have been working on over the past two weeks. It is a chance for members to show their commitment to sustainability in the areas of the goals and demonstrate how they are already working in those areas.

National commitments are likely to use different wording and detail than GRSB's, but I know all of our national roundtables have identified the three goal areas as priorities, so I am confident that we will have consensus. We expect a final vote to be taken in early June and will be working intensively between now and then to ensure we have the most constructive input we can.

I am including some articles here from mainstream sources just to highlight the way that livestock and the issues of our goals are being talked about. It's easy to be caught up in our own community and forget that not everyones sees the world as we do.

During some conversations on the goals, it was pointed out to me that my concerns about the UN or other influential international bodies were seen as irrelevant by some of our network. A fair point. We can't be worrying about things that we as individuals, we cannot influence. But I think it is useful to know that there is an organisation working on your behalf so that you are not later faced with legislation that makes business impossible.

We can see it happening already, with proposed legislation in Colorado that would make livestock production unfeasible, and we can assume that this will spread over time unless there are concerted efforts to counter it.


Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
April 6, 2021

Now Available:
GRSB Webinar, "Who's Going to Pay?: Incentivizing Sustainability Along the Beef Value Chain"
video of the webinar.

The video is protected and you will need to use the password grsbeef2021 to view it.

Webinar Video

View any of the webinars in GRSB's Webinar Series:

All Videos

Global Sustainability Leader to Capstone 2021 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef

Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, Managing Director, SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, Protein Industry, for OSI Europe, will provide the capstone address for the 2021 Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, to be held April 14, 2021 (April 15 in New Zealand and Australia).

Ms. Johnson-Hoffman, a former President of GRSB, has an extensive background in sustainability and her presentation will bring together the issues and concepts discussed during the 2021 Global Conference and challenge the beef industry to embrace global goals.

Register HERE

The GRSB and its Stakeholders would like to Thank the following Organizations for their Contribution to the Global Beef Sustainability Acceleration Fund.

We are delighted to welcome the following new members to GRSB and look forward to working with them!

  1. Comgroup
  2. Native, a Public Benefit Corporation
  3. Trouw Nutrition

I have put the articles below in not because I agree with them, but because these are the sort of things that are landing in the general public's newsfeed every day. We have to have positive stories about what we are already doing and achieving, and our aim of continuous improvement to counter them.

Collective Action to Enable Sustainable Growth Will Be Critical to End Tropical Deforestation 
Justin Adams, World Economic Forum, February 4, 2021

The intensive production of commodities – such as palm oil, beef, soy, and paper and pulp – still accounts for the majority of tropical deforestation, despite the best efforts and willingness of many highly capable, motivated people, businesses, governments, producers, consumers and NGOs around the world.

It is now universally accepted that there is no solution to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss without ending tropical deforestation. But this is a highly complex problem and solutions are not simple nor easy. These commodities underpin the global food production system and the global consumer economy. They also sustain the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and local communities, and are key industries supporting the economies of many producer countries.

Can Low Meat Consumption Be The Key to a Thriving — and Circular — Food System? 
Ana Birliga Sutherland & Laxmi Adrianna Haigh, Green Biz, April 1, 2021

As we surpass the first anniversary of COVID-19 and the impacts of extended lockdowns, the need for systemic change has become more apparent than ever. This necessary shift must not be overlooked in the agrifood sector; our global food systems require a radical reworking more than ever before, for both planetary and human health. Both food insecurity and obesity are on the rise globally, while our agricultural systems can be destructive rather than regenerative, and contribute to a myriad of environmental consequences. This begs the question — where have we gone wrong?

Biologist: 'The Next Pandemic Could Come From Our Own Livestock'  
The Brussels Times, March 31, 2021

Experts are still trying to fathom out how the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 made its disastrous way into the human population, and now a Belgian biologist has warned that a future pandemic could be in the process of being created right now, but much closer to home.

"The chance is real that a new worldwide epidemic could be created in our own part of the world," Hedwig Leirs, biologist at the University of Antwerp, told the Gazet Van Antwerpen.

Link Found Between Processed Meat Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease  
Technology Networks, April 1, 2021

A global study led by Hamilton scientists has found a link between eating processed meat and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The same study did not find the same link with unprocessed red meat or poultry.

The information comes from the diets and health outcomes of 134,297 people from 21 countries spanning five continents, who were tracked by researchers for data on meat consumption and cardiovascular illnesses.

After following the participants for almost a decade, the researchers found consumption of 150 grams or more of processed meat a week was associated with a 46 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a 51 per cent higher risk of death than those who ate no processed meat.

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

If you don’t have a password for the members area,
please click on "Forgot Password" at Login. 


This message has been sent to you at {Organization_Name}
If you no longer want to receive these letters, you can unsubscribe at any time