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

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Dear GRSB Member, 

From Ruaraidh Petre
Executive Director
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

Welcome to the new format GRSB newsletter. We will be sending these out bi-weekly and we aim to include materials of interest to our members, both from the Roundtable itself, but also from sustainability initiatives involving our members and related organizations.

We would appreciate your input to make this newsletter as relevant as possible, so if you have a story or material about your organization's sustainability activities, let us know and we will include it. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


Roundtable Updates


Sustainable Beef Definition Committee Progress Report

dateline: July 10, 2013
source: Committee Report to Executive Board

The Technical Working Groups within the Sustainable Beef Definition Committee have reported to the GRSB Executive Board on the development of criteria to be met  in order to achieve the definition of Sustainable Beef. These criteria are primarily global in nature but encompass eco-regional issues.

From the criteria, six key principles have been identified and corresponding indicators of each principle are being established. Subject matter experts are being sought for further input, as well as volunteers for both drafting and review. The Committee expects to produce a first draft of the definition by August 1st, with a final presentation completed by August 31st.

Farmer Support Programme Steering Group Meets

dateline: June 27, 2013
source: Steering Committee Minutes

A full day meeting of the 4th Farmer Support Programme Steering Group was held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on June 27, 2013. The agenda covered the State of Affairs on Roundtables, analysis of self-sustainability projects, enhancement of the Livestock Savoury Institute South Africa and Livestock Land Innovations Ltd Kenya projects, improved livestock and non-producer support proposals and the presentation of the Schokland Fund Final Evaluation and communications plan. 

Proposals were received covering all five FSP commodities with a broad geographical spread. 14 proposals were presented to the SG with positive recommendation. A presentation on the GRSB short term objectives was shared. These include defining “sustainable beef production, educating members and stakeholders on the diversity of current sustainable approaches and how to improve beef sustainability and unifying global sustainable beef efforts and promote/support establishment of regional roundtables.

Member News


Marfrig Divides South American Beef Business

dateline: July 4, 2013   source:GlobalMeatNews.com

Brazilian meat giant Marfrig has announced plans to split its South American beef business into two operational divisions.

Each division will have its own CEO, with former a commercial director at Marfrig, Andrew Murchie, due to head up Marfig Beef Brazil. Secco Martin, who has 25 years' experience in the beef industry and is currently responsible for Marfrig's operations industry and is currently responsible for Marfrig;s operations in Uruguay and Chile, will take over as CEO of Marfrig Beef Southern Cone.
Read entire article at GlobalMeatNews.com

JBS Carriers Accepts 2013 Green Fleet of the Year Award      
dateline: June 27, 2013
source: FleetOwner.com

Pictured from left to right at the ceremony are: Jim Mele, Fleet Owner editor-in-chief; Rodrigo Horvath, president of JBS Carriers, and Jerry Parker, WIX district sales manager.

Recognizing its comprehensive efforts to reduce fuel consumption, JBS Carriers was presented with Fleet Owner's 2013 Green Fleet of the Year Award during the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Washington, DC.

For more, go to FleetOwner.com

Cargill Beef: 1st Major Processor to Earn USDA Tenderness Program Certification      
Designation validates company’s tenderness research, testing, since 2000      
dateline: July 25, 2013, source: Cargill News Release    
Cargill’s tenderness laboratory at the company’s Wichita innovation center is the first of any major U.S. processor to receive U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), certification for its beef tenderness program.  Additionally, Cargill’s beef processing plants at Dodge City, Kan.; Schuyler, Neb.; Fort Morgan, Colo.; and Friona, Texas, have been certified by USDA for the harvest, fabrication (production) and packaging of tender products.      

Cargill Expands Commitment to Responsible Supply Chains 

dateline: July 15, 2013
source: Sacramento Bee/PRNewswire

As part of its commitment to operating responsible supply chains, Cargill today announced a new assessment tool to help food and beverage customers achieve their growth, cost reduction and risk mitigation goals .... Read more at PRNewswire.


 In the News

The Future of Beef Demand

dateline: July 3, 2013
source: Hoosier Ag Today

Two Kansas researchers, Dr. Ted Schroeder and Dr. Glynn Tonsor, have published a study that looks at what determines consumer demand for beef. Dr. Schroeder says their study identified 7 factors that impact beef demand:

 1)Beef Price,
 2) Food Safety
 3) Product Quality
 5) Nutrition
 6) Social Aspects, and

According to Dr. Tonsor, “Food safety and product quality are two major factors that the beef industry can have an influence on and, thus, influence beef demand."

Read entire story at Hoosier Ag Today


Silicon Valley Teams Propose Solutions for Sustainable Beef

dateline: June 26, 2013
source: Food+Tech Connect

For 48 hours on June 21-23, over 250 food industry leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and creatives convened at Hack/Meat Silicon Valley, a hackathon to develop hardware and software solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing sustainable meat production and consumption.
The three-day event was held at the Institute of Design at Stanford ,and was organized by Food+Tech Connect in partnership with Applegate and GRACE Communications Foundation.
Winners were awarded prizes representing more than $125,000 in value, including cash and consulting services from industry leaders to help them continue development of their prototypes.

See winners here.


This issue:
·  Roundtable Updates
·  Member News
·  In the News
·  Briefly...
CRSB Given Green Light at First Meeting
dateline: July 29, 2013 source: CCA Action News

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) accomplished a lot of work at its first meeting last week. The 62 participants on board helped to solidify the intent, purpose and direction of the CRSB going forward.

Spearheaded by the CCA, the CRSB aims to facilitate a national dialogue to advance continuous improvement in the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Canadian beef value chain. Through leadership, science, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration continuous improvement of sustainability of the Canadian beef value chain will be achieved and recognized.

Various participants from the retail and food sectors, environmental organizations, researchers, government, and animal care organizations participated in the meeting. With all in agreement that a sustainability roundtable is needed in Canada, participants were divided into working groups to discuss the direction and focus of the fledgling CRSB.

Coming out of the CRSB was the direction to start three technical working groups; 1) to help the CRSB move forward with full creation; 2) to do a sustainability assessment of the Canadian beef industry; and 3) to create a communications strategy.

CCA Manager, Environmental Affairs, Fawn Jackson spearheaded the CRSB. She is pleased with the progress made at the initial meeting and looks forward to moving ahead with the work.
Read More

Beef Quality Assurance Award for Producers and Marketers
dateline: July 3, 2013
Source: Blair Enterprise Publishing

Quality beef begins with quality care. The Iowa Beef Industry Council wants to recognize beef producers and marketers who diligently care for and properly handle cattle in order to provide consumers with safe and wholesome beef.

Applications for Iowa’s 2013 Iowa Beef Quality Assurance(BQA) Awards are now being accepted.

For more information and application, go to the Iowa Beef Council

Beef, Cattle Production Conference Scheduled for August
dateline: July 10, 2013
source: Southeast Sun

Registration is now open for the 2013 Regional Beef and Cattle Conference at Auburn University, and the Coffee County Extension office is encouraging anyone with an interest in beef production to attend.

This year’s theme is “Innovation, Efficiency and Effectiveness: Adapting Cattle Production For Greater Success,” and the conference will bring together more than 25 leaders in the beef industry to address the needs of cattlemen in the areas of management practices, nutritional decision making, health and reproductive practices and marketing practices.

The annual event is scheduled for Aug. 16-17 at the newly remodeled Auburn University Overton/Goodwin Center in Auburn, Alabama.

For more information on the Conference, Click HERE.

QR Codes Allow Customers to Meet Growers
dateline: July 2, 2013
source: Mobile Commerce Press
by Denny Schuman

Woolworths has announced that it is rolling out QR codes that will allow customers to be able to access details regarding the local growers who supply the stores with the fruit and vegetables that they buy.

The program is called Meet the Grower and includes a number of different kinds of media for information. For instance, when the QR codes are scanned from a product’s package, it reveals the photo of the farmer who grew it,   to his or her URL, the length of time that the farmer has been supplying produce to Woolworths, and other information that customers may find useful and interesting.

Read entire article at Mobile Commerce Press

Meat Companies Look for Industry Solutions
dateline: July 4, 2013
source: Radio New Zealand

New Zealand's four biggest meat companies are meeting on Thursday independent chair to see if they can come up a better way to run the meat industry. Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen told Federated Farmers national conference in Ashburton that the companies will be seeing if they can come up with a proposal to run the meat industry in a more collaborative way.

Read the entire story at RadioNewZealand.com
Report Shows Farmers Re-Vegetate 70 Million Hectares
dateline: July 4, 2013
source: National Farmers' Federation -Australia

A new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that Australian farmers re-vegetated almost 70 million hectares of agricultural land in 2011-12.

CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Matt Linnegar said that the data shows just how important a role Australia’s 157,000 farmers play in managing the natural environment.

“70 million hectares is 10 percent of Australia’s landmass,” Linnegar said. “The two main reasons for this were for livestock production and for environmental protection, which shows that agricultural productivity and looking after the environment can go hand in hand.

 Read entire article at NFF-Australia

Participate in the Review and Revision of Sustainable Agriculture Standards

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) invites you to participate in the public consultation process of its three standards: Sustainable Agriculture Standard, Standard for Sustainable Cattle Production Systems and Group Certification Standard.

We would encourage members to comment on it, as Rainforest Alliance is a GRSBeef member. For more, please go the SAN WEBSITE. .


News We Can Use

If you have news to share with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef membership, please send it to polly.welden@grsbeef.org

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