The beef sector sets an ambitious agenda.
Ottawa—Canadian beef producers are in step with an international beef sustainability campaign that aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve land use and protect animal health and well-being, says Fawn Jackson, Director of Policy and International Affairs with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
Jackson, who was the founding Executive Director of the Canadian Beef Sustainability Roundtable (CRSB), welcomed the launch of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), which aims to advance and improve the sustainability of the global beef value chain.
Jackson said the CRSB has worked for years to reduce carbon emissions by 33 per cent and to find ways that producers across the country can work reduce their impact on their local environment. “It’s about educating producers on how they can increase productivity and the tools they can use to improve their sustainability.”
GRSB’s mission is to ensure that sustainable beef can remain part of an important international food supply chain by reducing the net global warming impact of beef by 30 per cent, ensuring the beef value chain is a net positive contributor to nature and providing cattle with an environment in which they can thrive, achieved through increased adoption of best practices.
Roundtable members are also committing to investing in research and development of climate-smart practices, tools, and knowledge. “Investment has already been made in areas including detailed analysis of carbon sequestration – members will now look beyond how to manage carbon sequestration and how it can be more effectively measured on an ongoing basis.”
The GRSB “is a worldwide network of the people and organizations powering progress in sustainable beef. It champions best practices, facilitates the exchange of knowledge and fosters a collaborative approach. Its aim is a more environmentally responsible, more economically resilient and more socially beneficial beef industry.”
Ruaraidh Petre, Executive Director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, said. “The world relies on beef and the industry relies on a healthy world to produce it. That’s why there is growing momentum in the industry to protect and nurture the earth’s natural resources. The conversation around beef sustainability is more important now than ever, and we recognize the need for beef to be more environmentally sound, more socially responsible, and more economically viable.
“The goals which we have launched are a commitment from the global beef industry, articulating the role and responsibility that we are taking together towards achieving a more sustainable ecosystem. Our goals are ambitious, and we may not yet have all the solutions to achieve them. By focusing our efforts, we aim to inspire research and investment in science and innovation that will unlock their potential impact.”
Canadian representative Cherie Copithorne-Barnes from Alberta said, “Beef is not only part of a vital food system, but a hundred-billion-dollar industry that supports farmers, ranchers, families and communities in almost every country all around the world. Much is already being done to preserve grasslands, adopt regenerative practices, protect forests, enhance carbon sequestration, and optimize resources, but there is strong recognition of the need and opportunity to do more.”
The GRSB’s members include the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Cargill, and JBS.
Alex Binkley is a freelance journalist and writes for domestic and international publications about agriculture, food and transportation issues. He’s also the author of two science fiction novels with more in the works.