GFM Network News



Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has had a front-row seat as global giants like McDonald’s and Walmart move to selling ‘sustainable’ beef.

The new world of ‘sustainable’ beef

Rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has dealt with the movers and the shakers in the sustainable beef movement – and they're not all the same

Reading Time: 5 minutes Who’s driving this bus? Amid ‘grocery wars,’ Jamie Oliver, ‘hormone free,’ Walmart, and a storm of related debate, this is the core question many producers and others in animal agriculture have about the new swath of expectations and ‘sustainability’ programs taking hold in the industry and the marketplace. One person with a unique, up-close perspective […] Read more


meat aisle in supermarket

Clinging to old ways doesn’t work in a rapidly changing world

The beef industry needs to supply what consumers want, 
support innovation, and encourage new entrants

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve long said that the money in the beef industry comes from providing value as the customer defines it. That statement has several sides, of course. It means we value add, which is true. But it also came into play as consumers demanded beef labelled hormone and antibiotic free, local, grass fed, fresh or organic. […] Read more






BIXS will have to attract many more users or it “will die,” said Holly LaBrie, the program’s administrator. photos: supplied

BIXS open for business, but only a fraction of producers have signed up

Fewer than 1,000 producers have signed up for the cattle-tracking database, 
but officials say the revamped system is greatly improved

Reading Time: 4 minutes Fewer than 1,000 producers have signed up for the second go-round of a beleaguered cattle-tracking system — even though it’s free and designed to boost their bottom line. The Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) is also intended to be the foundation for the “verified sustainable beef” initiative that McDonald’s is piloting in Canada. At the recent […] Read more

Animated chicken being held by robot arms.

How to answer those tough agricultural questions from your urban neighbours

Farm advocate Cami Ryan says start by talking to family and friends, speak about your 
values as well as the facts, and tell a story

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ticked off by GM-free Cheerios and A&W trumpeting the beef in its burgers is hormone free? Then you’ll hate the Chipotle Scarecrow. The scarecrow is the hero in a Tim Burton-style animated video depicting a bleak smoke-spewing factory where caged cows are extruded into a “beef-ish” product and robots inject chickens with a green liquid […] Read more