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New Cattle Ranching Practices Could Turn the Tide of Deforestation in the Amazon
For a business that cares about its reputation and impact on the planet, not buying beef from the Amazon seems like a no–brainer. Beef production is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation in the region, and no company wants to be associated with the destruction of the world's most precious rainforest.
That was the position taken for many years by McDonald's, one of the world's largest beef buyers. But during the Rio Olympics in 2016, the company's developmental franchisee in Latin America, Arcos Dorados, announced progress and new innovations, which allowed beef to be sourced from the Amazon without contributing to deforestation.
Instead of simply avoiding the huge number of cattle ranchers in the region, Arcos Dorados became a partner in a project called Novo Campo ("new land") which aims to make beef production more sustainable.
Whangara Hosts McDonalds: Global Meat Buying Team from Fast Food Chain Drops In
Murray Robertson, Gisborne Herald | April 5, 2017
Whangara Farms hosted their second set of international visitors in a week on Sunday when they showed the global meat buying team from fast food chain McDonalds around the property.
This followed the visit last week by the Kristensen family from Danish footwear company Glerups.
"McDonald's has partnered with Beef and Lamb New Zealand and Silver Fern Farms (SFF) to initiate a Sustainable Beef integration project which is focused on encouraging sustainable production practices," SFF spokesman Greg McSkimming said.
Trade Tops List of Urgent Issues for Beef Industry, NCBA President Craig Uden
Lori Potter, Kearney Hub | April 9, 2017
Trade, the naming of a new agriculture secretary, a new farm bill and government regulations are just a few of the issues being watched closely by ag industry leaders, including National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Craig Uden of Johnson Lake, a Darr Feedlot partner.
"We were disappointed that TPP was discontinued right off the bat with no other plan ready," Uden said, adding that NCBA will work with federal officials to ensure the critical bilateral trade agreements are reached. Equally important is maintaining benefits from the North American Free Trade Agreement. "That represents a zero tariff on beef sold in Canada and Mexico, which combine for more than 30 percent of exports," Uden said.
Those zero tariffs compare with a 38.5 percent tariff to export beef to Japan, the other top three beef export market. "NAFTA has been a huge win for all of agriculture," Uden said.
Beef Checkoff Launches Food Waste Challenge
PR Newswire, National Cattlemen's Beef Association | April 10, 2017
In recognition of Earth Day later this month, the Beef Checkoff is challenging consumers to #WasteLess with our 30 Day Food Waste Challenge. Although beef is one of the least wasted commodities produced in the U.S., at around 20 percent of edible product going to waste, consumers could help improve beef sustainability by 10 percent simply cutting that waste in half.
The challenge encourages Americans to raise awareness and introduce simple changes to fight food waste in their daily routine. People who sign up for the Food Waste Challenge will be given shopping tips and food prep strategies to help reduce food waste in their households. They are also encouraged to post on social media using #WasteLess to encourage others to join the challenge.
Food waste is a continuing problem in the U.S. According to World Food Day, 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in North America is wasted. Reducing food waste is one of the most impactful steps anyone can take to reduce their impact on the environment.
Victoria G. Myers, DTN The Progressive Farmer | April 10, 2017
"Producer–focused" and "unbiased" is how Chad Ellis says The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation will approach a new two–year research project build around testing metrics established by the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) and exploring scalable solutions that might be applicable to beef production across the U.S.
Ellis, manager for the Foundation's Center for Land Stewardship, is spearheading this work with the USRSB. He said they will follow six indicators the USRSB has set, collecting data throughout the full value chain for beef. Those six indicators are:(1) Animal Health and Well–Being; (2) Efficiency and Yield; (3) Water Resources; (4) Land Resources; (5) Air and Greenhouse Gas Emissions; and (6) Worker Safety and Well–Being.