The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has released its draft Principles and Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef document for public comment. The document identifies the key areas in the beef value chain that must be addressed to ensure beef production around the globe is environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable.
The draft was developed by GRSB members, including producers and producer associations, the processing sector, retail companies, civil society organizations, and regional roundtables.
"These principles and criteria establish a global framework for ensuring sustainable performance in beef production," according to Ruaraidh Peter, GRSB Executive Director. "The definition covers all elements of the global beef value chain, including production, processing, distribution, sale and consumption. GRSB members believe sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement that requires the shared participation and responsibility among all actors — from producers to consumers. The GRSB definition provides a broad road map for this journey, allowing different regions to establish specific indicators, metrics or practices."
The draft document, accessible at www.GRSBeef.org, is the product of more than a year's work by members of the GRSB, as well as consultations with outside reviewers and beef sustainability subject matter experts around the globe.
The public is invited to provide input and comments to the draft definition through May 16, 2014, after which the document will be updated to reflect the input received during the public comment period. Comments, along with any improvements to the draft definition, will be published for public review.
"GRSB defines sustainable beef as a socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes our planet, people, the animals, and continuous progress," said Cameron Bruett, President of the GRSB and Head of Corporate Affairs at JBS USA. "Our membership has worked in a collaborative fashion to boldly confront the challenges in every segment of the beef value chain. The core principles for global sustainable beef production seek to balance a broad range of issues including natural resources, community and individual development, animal well-being, food, efficiency and innovation."
GRSB officially formed in 2012 and includes international members from across the beef value chain. The group is organized into five constituency groups, including cattlemen, ranchers and producer groups, commerce and processing, retail, civil societies (NGOs), and regional roundtables. It is through the efforts of the regional roundtables that the definition will be applied to accomplish on-the-ground improvements in specific areas of the world.
"Our diverse membership recognizes that the global beef industry plays an important role in the lives of the people and communities who produce and consume beef; the well-being of the animals under our care; the management of natural resources; and in meeting the growing global population's demand for animal protein efficiently," Bruett said. "We are confident that through leadership, collaboration and the promotion of a science-based approach, we can achieve our vision of a world where all aspects of the global beef value chain are environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable."
The GRSB general assembly will vote on final adoption of the Global Beef Sustainability Principles and Criteria document later this year during the Global Conference for Sustainable Beef.