Beef sustainability leaders head to COP27 to tell beef’s climate change story: GRSB conference in Denver

As New Zealand producers measure their carbon position to deal with a methane tax, it is being found that so many are sequestering far more carbon than emitting methane, Mr Petre said.

In Latin America, producers are demonstrating the same outcome as they measure their balance, just via their normal grazing management.

And in Australia, carbon emissions across the industry have been measured and reduced by 57 per cent since 2005.

The GRSB, which now has more than hundred members across 24 countries – including some big names from Australia such as AACo, Harvest Road and Meat & Livestock Australia – has a goal of 30pc reduced global warming impact by 2030.

That’s more ambitious than most policy settings around the world.

GRSB’s president Ian McConnel, an Australian ex-pat, said by demonstrating ambition and progress, the global beef industry could avoid the negative impacts of policy settings like methane taxes and herd reduction schemes.

“If we, as a global industry, achieve our stated targets the methane pledge won’t be an issue,” he said.

“Whether or not policy makers give us the time will come down to how well we communicate that this is not just a stated ambition, it is a series of actions we are already taking.”

Mr McConnell said critical to that would be producers telling the GRSB, and the rest of the value chain and allied services, what sustainability means on their farms and ranches.

He referred to a comment from Walmart executive Bob Fields ten years ago when the GRSB was set up.

When asked why the likes of Walmart, McDonalds and the WWF were coming together on beef and what it is they wanted from the producer, he replied: “We don’t want to tell you what sustainable beef is, we just want to sell lots of it.”

“Yes, we want to drive change,” Mr McConnel said. “But change that works for producers.”

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