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US, Canada and Brazil working towards global beef sustainability framework

Beef Central, 19/02/2016

While the Australian beef industry continues down the path of developing its own beef sustainability framework, the Brazilian, Canadian and US beef industries are progressing the development of their own national sustainability frameworks under the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

The GRSB held a board meeting in Denver last week, where GTPS from Brazil, CRSB from Canada and USRSB from the United States were among the global beef industry stakeholders represented.

GRSB executive director Ruaraidh Petre said each national roundtable is currently developing the priorities for their own country, relevant to their own production systems and environmental conditions, and developing indicators that fit under the GRSBs general principles and criteria.

“They decide which are a priority in their situation and work on those,” Mr Petre said.

“For example, the CRSB has just put theirs out for public comment (see here). They will also work on verification.”

Mr Petre said the GRSB has a working definition of what a roundtable is, with “multi-stakeholder involvement” being the key.

However, it also sets out the means by which the GRSB can work with organisations that may not be roundtables but subscribe to our Principles and Criteria.

“It is our intention to be able to recognise initiatives based on the process they follow, and on the impact they have on the ground.

“One of the functions of GRSB is to be able to report on global progress being made by the beef industry – not by comparison between areas or systems, but in terms of progress made.

“Life Cycle Assessments (LCAS) in various countries including Australia have already shown that the beef industry has improved its efficiency over the past three to four decades and continues to do so.”

(See the LCA funded by MLA for the Australian beef industry here)

Asked if Australia’s beef sustainability framework could also be recognised under the GRSB, even though it is being developed by the Australian industry away from the formal GRSB process, Mr Petre said it was likely it would be, assuming Australia wanted it to.

“The recognition framework is not complete, but will include both roundtables and non roundtable initiatives.

“Where there is a national roundtable, it would be able to recognise other initiatives in that country, whereas in the absence of a national roundtable, initiatives could be recognised directly by GRSB. Since Australia has been implementing many initiatives over a long period that align very well with our P&C, I think it highly likely that the Australian framework could be recognised, assuming they want be.”

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