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Beef has a sustainability problem. Is this the year the industry finds a fix?

Chris Casey  |  Food Dive  |  January 27, 2022

As producers explore regenerative farming and emission-busting feed additives, critics argue that more compelling solutions deserve investment.

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series on the trends that will shape the food and beverage industry in 2022.

Beef is not sustainable: That’s what critics charge and what many consumers want to see change.

The statistics around the meat’s environmental footprint are attention-grabbing. Globally, livestock contributes 14.5% of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, with beef responsible for the largest share, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. The livestock industry was responsible for the second-largest share of emissions of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas said to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide — in the U.S. in 2019, according to the EPA. Global methane emissions from cattle, meanwhile, have risen by more than 10% since 2000, according to Statista data.

“We all worry about what this future looks like, and we all feel extreme pressure to mitigate these impacts in a very real way,” said Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a researcher of sustainable cattle herding methods.

As major beef processors set their individual targets, the industry is also trying to collaborate with other stakeholders on the issue. The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has a membership portfolio that includes not only big beef producers, processors and their suppliers but also retailers, environmental groups and academic institutions.

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World leading bovine genetics company joins Global Roundtable championing sustainability in the beef industry

  • World leading bovine genetics company, ABS Global, has joined the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
  • ABS Global becomes the 87th new member to join the Roundtable in the last 12 months, following the likes of animal nutrition leader, Zinpro, agricultural foods processor, ADM, and US financial marketplace, CME Group
  • They join members such as WWF, Zoetis, and Cargill, working with beef producers, processors, retailers, and suppliers on a pathway to climate neutrality in the beef industry

ABS Global, a world leading bovine genetics company, has joined forces with organizations such as WWF, Zoetis, and Cargill as part of a worldwide network of people and organizations powering progress in sustainable beef – the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

With over 80 years’ experience in animal genetics, ABS Global partners with progressive and genetic driven producers and supply chain stakeholders to breed better cattle for the efficient production of quality meat and milk. ABS aims to create affordable and sustainable beef and milk supporting the bovine ecosystem.

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef brings together all supply chain partners, from farm to plate, to support and invest in the continuous improvement of cattle health and wellbeing.

ABS Global joins a growing number of organizations committed to bettering the global beef supply chain, as part of GRSB. In the last 12 months, 87 new members have joined GRSB, including, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a world leading derivatives marketplace operating in agriculture and ESG, and Archers-Daniels-Midland (ADM) who develop natural ingredients to support livestock nutrition.

Ruaraidh Petre, Executive Director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, said: “2020 was a key year for GRSB – not only did we welcome a number of key new members to our organization, but we also launched our global goals outlining our commitment to reduce net global warming impact of beef 30% by 2030.

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef announces 2022 Executive Committee

5th January 2022 – The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) today announces its 2022 Executive Committee.

Comprised of some of the beef supply chain’s largest stakeholders, with a range of diverse and industry-leading expertise, the committee will focus on progressing the organization’s work towards achieving net-zero through its global sustainability goals.

The six-member 2022 Executive Committee includes industry leaders from the likes of McDonalds, Tyson Foods, Zoetis and Rabobank.

  • President: Mr. Ian McConnel, Tyson Foods
  • Vice President: Mr. Bob Lowe, Tri-L Ranch
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Mr. Justin Sherrard, Rabobank
  • Member at large: Ms. Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Zoetis
  • Member at large: Mr. Lucas McKelvie, McDonalds Corporation
  • Immediate Past-President: Mr. Bob McCan, McFaddin Enterprises

Since 2012, GRSB has been working to advance sustainable beef through leadership, science, and multi-stakeholder engagement. Leaders are elected from a membership that represents the full value chain, including beef producers and producer organizations, allied services and industries, processors, retail, civil societies, and others who aim to continuously improve beef sustainability around the world.

GRSB announced its global sustainability goals in June 2021. These include reducing the net global warming impact of beef 30 percent by 2030, ensuring the beef value chain is a net positive contributor to nature by 2030, and increasing the adoption of animal health and welfare best practices so that cattle are provided with an environment in which they can thrive.

More than 500 companies and producer organizations are engaged in the work of GRSB and its members, including regionally focused beef sustainability roundtables and initiatives in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Southern Africa, the United States, and other countries around the world.
The new committee came into effect on January 1, 2022.

Global animal nutrition leaders and financial experts join roundtable to support sustainability in the beef supply chain

Global animal nutrition leaders and financial experts join roundtable to support sustainability in the beef supply chain

09 November 2021

  • Global leader in animal nutrition and performance, Zinpro, has joined the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
  • In recent months, the roundtable has also welcomed agricultural foods processor, ADM, and US financial marketplace, CME Group, as members, further bolstering its commitment to improving the sustainability of the global food system
  • They join members such as WWF, Zoetis, and Cargill, working with beef producers, processors, retailers, and suppliers on a pathway to climate neutrality
  • The roundtable is experiencing an increasing representation of organizations from across the beef supply chain, part of a growing movement to protect and nurture natural resources

Zinpro, the global leader in trace mineral nutrition and performance, has joined forces with organizations such as WWF, Zoetis, and Cargill as part of a worldwide network of people and organizations powering progress in sustainable beef – the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

With over 50 years of experience in advancing animal health, productivity, and wellbeing, Zinpro joins GRSB to encourage the continuous learning and adoption of best practices in disease prevention and treatment measures, as well as quality nutrition, across the supply chain, and support them on their overall mission to ensure the beef value chain is a net positive contributor to nature by 2030.

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef brings together all value chain partners, from farm to plate, to support and invest in the continuous improvement of cattle health and wellbeing.

Zinpro joins a growing number of organizations committed to bettering the global beef supply chain, as part of GRSB. They follow Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a world leading derivatives marketplace operating in agriculture and ESG, and Archers-Daniels- Midland (ADM) who develop natural ingredients to support livestock nutrition.

Ruaraidh Petre, Executive Director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Zinpro, alongside members CME and ADM, as we continue to grow our influence across the beef value supply chain worldwide. Their joining is a sign of

the growing momentum within the beef industry to protect and nurture the earth’s natural resources.

“With the commitment of these companies and their wealth of experience, our organization can continue to exchange knowledge and expertise, champion best practice, and ultimately improve the global food system for all.”

Terry Ward, Zinpro Global Director of Sustainability said: “At Zinpro, we are extremely pleased to have joined GRSB, whose values and goals closely align with our own. We look forward to utilizing our over 50 years of experience and innovation within the animal nutrition and health industries, to support education and power progress in the improvement of cattle health and wellbeing.”

The new members follow the announcement of GRSB’s global sustainability goals in June, which include reducing the net global warming impact of beef 30 percent by 2030, ensuring the beef value chain is a net positive contributor to nature by 2030, and increasing the adoption of animal health and welfare best practices so that cattle are provided with an environment in which they can thrive.

About the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) is a worldwide network of the people and organizations powering progress in sustainable beef. Across its global roundtable and 12 regional roundtables, GRSB has over 500 members, working in 24 different countries. Collectively, its members are responsible for more than two thirds of cross-border beef trade.

GRSB powers progress in sustainable beef by setting ambitious goals around reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving land use and animal welfare. To help achieve these goals, GRSB champions best practice, facilitates the exchange of knowledge and fosters a collaborative approach.


GRSB Executive Director, MHP Communications,

AACo and ANZ join global roundtable to power progress in sustainable beef

Australia’s oldest agriculture company – AACo – and one of the nation’s biggest banks – ANZ – have joined forces with the likes of the WWF, Zoetis, and JBS as part of a worldwide network of the people and organisations powering progress in sustainable beef – the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

The two new Australian members will join cattle farmers, beef processors, researchers, and investors from all over the world, to help develop a more environmentally responsible, economically resilient, and socially beneficial global beef supply chain.

GRSB Global Goals – 2021 (Public – PT)