Nature Positive Production Terms of Reference




The Joint Working Group on Land-Use Change (JWG), previously known as the Joint Working Group on Forests,  is a technical working group of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the network of national and regional beef and cattle roundtables around the world – focused on helping advance solutions that protect forests and native vegetation and promote more sustainable cattle value chains.

It is one of the oldest technical working groups in the GRSB. For the past seven years, it has served as an important forum bringing together global and regional stakeholders to discuss ways to help address the challenges associated with deforestation driven by cattle ranching in Brazil. In this capacity, the JWG served in an advisory role to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on their efforts to mobilize resources to achieve zero-net deforestation by 2020.

The objectives of the JWG were agreed upon by the GRSB and GTPS in 2012, when it formally became known as the GRSB-GTPS Joint Working Group on Forests (JWG). Historically, the JWG has focused mostly on tropical deforestation driven by cattle ranching in the Amazon biome in Brazil. Over the years, the JWG has hosted many important and high-level meetings and workshops. It has played a key role in the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, sponsoring sessions and bringing in notable speakers. It has also served as an entry point for new prospective roundtable members.

While the JWG has played a critical role in bringing stakeholders together, advancing constructive dialogues, sharing science, research and information, and updating stakeholders on progress, challenges and opportunities, the GRSB and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), identified strategic opportunities to re-fresh the JWG by bringing together additional stakeholders, broadening the scope of the group, and updating the objectives and workplan. This document outlines the terms of reference for the refreshed and updated JWG for 2020 and beyond.


In spring of 2019, the Board of Directors of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) undertook a strategic planning exercise including membership survey, interviews and design thinking workshop to create a framework for the coming five to ten years. The purpose of a strategic plan is to prioritize goals and objectives to guide the work of the organization – its members, board, and staff – in meeting the challenges and opportunities of the coming years.

As a result of that meeting the following 2030 priorities were agreed on:

GRSB 2030 Strategic Plan Priorities

  1. Establish a limited number of “Global Goals” for the GRSB Network;
  2. Communicate to ensure that beef is a trusted part of a thriving food system.
  3. Support the Roundtable Network.
  4. Develop an information system to report progress on the GRSB Global Goals;
  5. Develop and Strengthen partnerships to meet the Global Goals.

To be recognized as a global leader and to ensure the GRSB network is successful in achieving its vision, GRSB is setting a number of aspirational Strategic Goals to drive its work forward and create impact. Goals are being built on the GRSB Principles & Criteria, focusing action on the biggest opportunities and be formulated for the whole beef value chain.

The Goal Development Process and Decision Making:

The process to select the global goals has started with a collation of the existing materiality analyses, goals and priorities of the national and regional roundtables.

This materiality analysis will conclude in a list of topics with a priority rating.

Global goal topics will be refined based on discussion with the Strategic Steering Group who will make a recommendation to the Board for ratification. The Strategic Group consists of all of the national and regional roundtables, the Board and GRSB Executive Committee.

This will result in an agreed list of a focused number (4-6) of topics for goal development. Draft goals will be refined based on discussion with the Strategic Steering Group who will make a recommendation to the Board for the goal to be subject to a GRSB member consultation and approval.

As part of the strategic planning, it was decided to Create Goal-specific global action teams (where needed) to collaborate within the GRSB network to support and accelerate progress towards the goals.

This JWG has been tasked with supporting the development and implementation of the proposed global goal on land-use change, encompassing forests and native vegetation, in alignment with the GRSB Principles and Criteria.


The (JWG) will provide advice to further define and develop the global goal, with the aim of ensuring it is relevant and interesting for GRSB Membership and important stakeholders, and that the eventual group is well-positioned to undertake impactful sector dialogues over 2020.

This will include:

  • Provide a forum for global and regional stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with deforestation and habitat loss in cattle value chains.
  • Support the work of the GRSB and regional RTs to establish a global sustainability goal around forests/habitat (TBD)

 Advance support for viable approaches to deforestation-free and conversion-free production and sourcing practices (building on legal compliance) as well as financial incentives for producers to help protect forests and native vegetation.

  • Encourage improvements in traceability, monitoring, and transparency in cattle value chains.
  • Share science, research, and information on topics related to deforestation and habitat loss associated with cattle value chains


Members of the JWG should be committed to participate in monthly meetings at least through the initial phase of the project, through August 2020. The Joint Working Group will be comprised of 10 National/Regional Roundtable representatives, GRSB Membership and staff and other stakeholders that GRSB and JWG consider have technical knowledge that can help the group achieve its objective.

JWG members are appointed by the GRSB based on the following criteria:

  • Proactive interest and ability to contribute expertise and time
  • Diversity of the group ensuring adequate representation of the beef supply chain actors of different types of organizations, size, and location. The JWG will ideally include at least one signatory from a producer association representing farmers interest and concerns.
  • Membership participation, aiming for a minimum of 20% representation of GRSB members.

The balance of the JWG shall be preserved to the greatest extent possible – for example, where possible a producer association will be replaced with a producer association and so forth.

By accepting a role on the JWG, members confirm that they are able to devote sufficient time to the role and duties, as defined below. Proactive

participation from all members is crucial for an effective group.

Responsibilities will include:

Project strategy, research and evaluation

  • Advise on the characteristics of the engagement, i.e. prioritization of efforts among sectors, markets, commodities and engagement strategy
  • Review relevant research for Investors education and keep abreast of research, resources and literature and advise on appropriate links to the engagement
  • Advise on engagement opportunities with policymakers, sectoral bodies, initiatives or voluntary standards, preparation of public statements or investor expectations, etc.
  • Review a mapping of indicators, and advise on development of a benchmark to assess the progress of Roundtables and organizations that are members of GRSB
  • Advise on the parameters for the evaluation of the JWG’s overall progress
  • Advisory committee members are expected to participate in regular monthly calls. Frequent calls are expected to take place over the period of March-August 2020, and on an occasional basis thereafter.


  • JWG is co-led by Simon Hall (National Wildlife Federation) and Josefina Eisele (GRSB) who are responsible for ensuring that the initiative is aligned with the GRSB strategy, and that resources are utilized as effectively as possible toward their aims and objectives.
  • GRSB Executive Committee Sponsor for JWG is Justin Sherrard (Rabobank) who will act as a senior advisor on procedures and deliverables.
  • JWG Members are invited to participate in calls, meetings, workshops, events, etc.
  • JWG Members will be invited to co-create and share feedback on the objectives, workplan, work products, etc.
  • on-RT members will not eligible to participating in formal voting (if needed)
  • GRSB secretariat will help provide administrative and logistical support

GRSB, JWG and its leaders commits to:

  • Defining GRSB Global metric Goal, strategy for achievement and timelines, based on input from its members
  • Bring expertise from either internal or external sources
  • Forming sub-groups where necessary that can help take the lead on drafting materials related to the GRSB global goal on forest/vegetation/land-use, sharing with and collecting feedback from the wider group, and processing and integrating edits. This small sub-groups will be formed by GRSB members.
  • Convening, and facilitating regular meetings of the committee: providing agendas producing meeting minutes, briefings and publications, etc.
  • Identifying research and data needs for members education and engagement support
  • Ensuring the group moves forward and adheres to agreed timelines
  • Managing the content of the online working group space


An indicative action plan is included below.

  • March 2020 – First JWG call
  • March 2020- April 2020 – JWG develops a sub-group for initial goal development
  • April 2020 – JWG subgroup presents the different options of Goals and ask for JFW members feedback
  • May 2020 – Refinement of the Global Goal based on the feedback received from the group and presentation of the improved goals
  • June 2020 – Development and Alignment of National/Regional Roundtables Goals that will served as input for the accomplishment of the Global Goal
  • July 2020 – Development and Agreement on evaluation framework for the Goal
  • July 2020 – Voting within the JWG to approve the Goals
  • July 2020 – August 2020- Present Goals to the GRSB Board of Directors
  • August 2020 – Ask for external advisors’ feedback
  • September 2020 – Launch Global Goal at the GRSB Global Conference in Asuncion, Paraguay.


JWG will report on the activities of the group to the GRSB Executive Committee and Board of Directors and/or on the GRSB websites every month, including the terms of reference and members, and updates on activities.


If you are interested in learning more about the JWG, please contact:

Hillary Fenrich – [email protected]

Josefina Eisele – [email protected]