5 June 2013 — A group of representatives from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, and the United States has met within the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef to define what constitutes sustainable beef production.
It’s not an easy task given the vast differences in climate, available forages and grains, water resources, management practices and labour from beef producing region around the world.
And the committee, which will has started work on GRSB’s definition framework for sustainable beef, needs more experts.
Bryan Weech, a member of GRSB’s executive committee and director for livestock at the World Wildlife Fund, said it was “imperative that a full range of subject matter experts in the many areas of beef sustainability be involved in this process”.
“We need to assure that all areas and points-of-view are represented so that the definition developed is as accurate and complete as possible.”
GRSB’s Beef Sustainability Definition Committee is chaired by Ruaraidh (Rory) Petre who is also GRSB’s executive director.
Mr Petre said the Global Roundtable was formed in 2012 as an international non-profit organisation and one of its first efforts had been the formation of a highly qualified committee of members and others who were experts in beef sustainability.
“The Definition Committee has broad geographic diversity and is intent on identifying the key principles of beef sustainability as well as a clear path forward for the creation of criteria to fit under those principles,” he said.
“The Definition Committee is working on principles and criteria and next steps towards regional development of indicators – but there is no plan to develop a seal, certification, or comparable standard.”
The core principles identified by the committee during its most recent meeting include People, Community, Animal Well-Being, Food, Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation.
Criteria under the principles include issues such as labour and workers’ rights, the well-being of local communities, the well-being of animals in various management systems,; food safety, nutrition and food security, air, soil and water quality, and energy conservation and reduction of waste.
Details www.GRSBeef.org or firstname.lastname@example.org