GRSB Connect for January 27, 2015
Dear GRSB Member,
This is going to be an important year for communicating GRSBs message to the wider world and to consumers in particular. The Guardian article (The Beef with Sustainable Beef) continues to give our critics a platform while dismissing our own message as greenwash, even though many of our own civil society members are better known and respected than those who oppose us. Naturally there are publications with a specific agenda whose opinions will be very hard to change, however, recognition in the mainstream media for our efforts would be appreciated.
Dateline: 01/13/15, Source: By Alla Katsnelson, The Guardian
In the near future, you might not feel as guilty about ordering a Big Mac. McDonald's claims that by 2016, some of its iconic burgers – along with other beef products – will be made with "verified sustainable beef".
Dateline: 01/09/15, Source: Digital Journal
As an admirer of nature and a long–time advocate of intelligent environmentalism, Mark has cultivated a broad base of knowledge that has led him to develop a training manual on how to use livestock to improve and rebuild the environment. Most people think livestock are destructive to the environment. It's not the livestock that are the problem but the management of the livestock.
Marc seeks to change all that through his Kickstarter project to publish a book outlining multiple methods of raising livestock in a way that is profitable, sustainable, and environmentally sound. Up until now Mark has been holding seminars on this topic regularly but has found he's reaching small audiences and wishes to reach a much larger audience far faster to the benefit of everyone.
Dateline: 01/16/15, Source: University of Bristol
Professor Michael Lee, an expert in ruminant nutrition in the School ofVeterinary Sciences, has been appointed Head of Site at North Wyke, Rothamsted Research's site for grassland systems research. North Wyke is the only UK scientific research base supporting 70% of the country's landscape (grazing farm land). Internationally, North Wyke positions the UK to play a significant role in global sustainable livestock production and food security.
Dateline: 01/16/15, Source: By Alexis Kienlen, Alberta Farmer
Some American and British companies are sending email promotions to people's cellphones as they walk into their stores. They also have mechanisms for gauging which products people look at the most.
"If the global roundtable (on sustainable beef) strategy is to be successful, it will be very successful when they put hard definitions on things for particular countries, and then they are evaluated by third parties," said Ellen Goddard an agricultural economist and professor at the University of Alberta. "We're going to end up with a system like that for beef production."
Dateline: 01/17/15, Source: By Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald
Cherie Copithorne–Barnes is a fourth generation rancher, raising cattle on the family land west of Calgary on the banks of the scenic Jumping Pound Creek.
Dateline: 01/19/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Sustainable intensification is one way to feed our growing population, according to Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor at University of California–Davis. Meeting growing food demands without depleting our environment is the definition of the term, Dr Mitloeohner told The CattleSite. Watch 4.22–minute video HERE.
Dateline: 01/20/15, Source: By Ted Power, Grain News
Livestock producers all over the world understand the positive impact tracking and sharing animal data can have on their bottom lines. They know due to recent "food scares," consumers want to know that the food they are going to feed their families is safe. They want to know where it comes from, how it was raised, and what chemicals or drugs were used to create it.
Dateline: 01/20/15, Source: The Cattle Site
The beef industry was the first food system to benchmark its current status in a holistic manner that encompasses all three aspects of sustainability. The research included an evaluation of thousands of data points to quantify the industry's progress since 2005. Now, the beef industry can for the first time provide science–based answers to questions about its sustainability and how to improve.
Dateline: 01/20/15, Source: By Brooke Jackson, marinij.com
Nicolette Hahn Niman, an environmental lawyer and vegetarian–turned–cattle rancher, will talk about her new book, "Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production." In it, she explains the problems caused by industrialized food production and the importance of proper livestock management for maintaining grassland ecosystems.
Dateline: 01/22/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Efficient farming must take the place of input intensive agriculture in order to be sustainable, the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture heard last week. Feeding nine billion people by the year 2050 requires a "paradigm shift" to cope with the daunting task of producing more food while managing resources sustainably. According to Jose Graziano da Silva, Food and Agriculture Organisation director general, farming must stop a "business as usual approach". He told the Berlin audience that using feed for fuel is neither good nor terrible, but part of a solution.
Dateline: 01/14/15, Source: By Western Morning News
Funding for a £1.75 million selective breeding project to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the UK beef industry has been won by EBLEX, AHDB's beef and lamb division. The four–year project will be carried out by EBLEX with Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).
Dateline: 01/17/15, Source: By Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald
The scientists, who work out of Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada's Lethbridge Research Centre, are trying to find ways to reduce methane emissions from cattle. Methane is a natural byproduct of a cow's digestive process, but it's also a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
Dateline: 12/23/14, Source: By Justin Gillis, NY Times
Dateline: 01/23/15, Source: Institutional Investor
Last year was a big one in the effort to vanuish deforestation. Several major corporations pledged to source soft commodities exclusively from producers that can prove they're not linked to the destruction of forests, with an emphasis on the four good most often blamed for driving the problem: beef, palm oil, paper and pulp and soy.
Dateline: 01/23/15, Source: By Rhett A. Butler, Mongabay News
The moratorium on forest conversion established by Brazilian soy giants in 2006 dramatically reduce deforestation for soy expansion in the Amazon, and have been more effective in cutting forest destruction than the government's land use policy in the region, finds a study published today in the journal Science.
Dateline: 01/22/15, Source: Business Green
Mars today unveiled three new zero deforestation pledges, seeking to source only "sustainable" beef by the end of 2017 and 100 per cent traceable paper and pulp for packaging by the end of 2020. By the end of 2017, all of the soy Mars buys in Brazil will be certified by a third party verification system, the company added.
To read the entire source article, click on the link in the headline.
Members in the News
Dateline: 01/16/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Francesca DeBiase, VP Strategic Sourcing, Sustainability at McDonald's, said buying verified sustainable beef by 2016 is one of McDonald's key commitments.
Dateline: 01/15/15, Source: The Cattle Site
Faced with volatile commodity markets and changing regulations and consumer needs, animal producers are operating in an increasingly complex world. To help them more quickly respond in this dynamic environment, Cargill has expanded and renovated its Global Animal Nutrition Innovation Center in Velddriel, The Netherlands.
Dateline: 01/16/15, Source: Nassau News Live
Savory Institute, an International U.S. based non–profit, announced today that it has nominated 9 new Hub Candidates for 2015. The candidates will be joining a prestigious existing group of 20 Savory Network Hubs already providing education and implementation support to land managers in their region on regenerative management practices. Altogether these organizations represent 16 countries on all 6 habitable continents.
Source: SAI Platform
Collaboration between researchers around the world and the global food and drink industry has produced an overview of current best practice and emerging options for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock.
Dateline: 01/20/15, Source: Market Wired
Where Food Comes From, Inc. (d.b.a. IMI Global, Inc.) (OTCQB: WFCF), the most trusted resource for third–party verification of food production practices, today announced that former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) executive James Riva has joined the Company as Vice President of Global Alliances.
Dateline: 01/14/15, Source: Reputation Feeder Cattle
Zoetis Inc. has partnered with Verified Beef, LLC, to support Reputation Feeder Cattle™, a program for ranchers and cattle feeders that helps define feeder calf value by verifying industry–leading genetics and best practices.
Dateline: 01/22/15, Source: By Peggy Lowe, Net Nebraska
Cattle producers may get a chance to vote on whether they want to double the increasingly controversial $1 beef checkoff charge. Under a new plan unveiled this week, an industry working group proposed raising the fee to $2 that each producer pays upon sale of an animal, but also set a referendum every five years.
Dateline: 01/19/15, Source: By Tim Binsted, Queensland Country Life
After the deluge in the red centre and healthy rains across broad swathes of parched pastoral land, veteran cattleman Ray Thieme thinks the stars are starting to align for the beef industry. In the past fortnight, Alice Springs has had a once–in–a–decade downpour and tracts of Australia's drought–stricken cattle country have received much–needed rains. Following the rains, beef prices have surged.
Dateline: 01/15/15, Source: By Matthew Cawood, The Land AU
Indonesia is cutting back on imports of live cattle from Australia early in 2015, announcing that it will release permits for the import of 100,000 head in the first quarter.
Dateline: 01/15/15, Source: Buenos Aires Herald
Argentina may be famous around the world for its beef but consumption of red meat keeps decreasing and has fallen below 60–kilograms per person per year, the eleventh lowest figure in the last century, according to the Ciccra beef industry chamber.
Dateline: 01/15/15, Source: By John F. Grimes, Drovers CattleNetwork
The OSU Extension Beef Team has announced the details for the 2015 Ohio Beef Cattle School. The dates for the school are Tuesday, January 27 and continue on February 10 and February 24, 2015 and will start each evening at 7:00 p.m. The programs will address some of the most important issues currently facing Ohio's beef industry. Rapidly changing forces are constantly shaping the beef industry's landscape and successful producers need to stay abreast of changes to remain competitive.
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