U.S. establishes roundtable for sustainable beef

All of the major players in the value chain are on board with the effort to measure and improve sustainability of American beef

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The U.S. is the latest country to set up a roundtable for sustainable beef.

The group has more than three dozen founding members, largely drawn from the beef value chain. That includes more than a dozen cattle organizations; major processors (including Cargill and JBS) and beef buyers (McDonald’s, Costco, and Walmart); and other industry players (Merck, Elanco, Dow AgroSciences, and Zoetis). The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund are also members.

“Research tells us American consumers are increasingly interested in the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the beef they purchase,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, vice-president of Cargill Value Added Meats and interim chair of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

“For the first time, the entire U.S. beef value chain, including representatives who raise cattle and produce, market and sell beef, in addition to representatives from the NGO community and allied businesses, are coming together to establish metrics and criteria that will be used to benchmark the present and help measure improvements in the sustainability of American beef going forward.”

The roundtable plans to “identify sustainability indicators, establish verification methodologies, and generate field project data to test and confirm sustainability concepts for use throughout the United States,” the group said in a release.

The U.S. is the fifth country to establish a sustainable beef roundtable, following in the wake of Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Its website is usrsb.org.

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