GFM Network News



Having a set of measurable procedures and standards for sustainable beef makes Canada a global leader in the production of humane, environmentally friendly beef, says Fawn Jackson, executive director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

World’s first verified sustainable beef plan is ready to roll

It’s taken two years of work and looks much like McDonald’s pilot, 
but its creators say it’s a historic step forward

After two years of consultations and review, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has rolled out the official list of procedures and standards for producing beef in a humane, environmentally friendly way. And while the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework looks a lot like the one developed for McDonald’s 2014 pilot project, its launch is historic, […] Read more





Processors also part of the sustainable beef plan

Along with animal welfare 
and food safety, indicators cover worker safety and community involvement

Beef processors will also have their own set of ‘indicators’ for producing sustainable beef. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has 19 indicators for processors, covering areas such as natural resource management; people and community; animal health and welfare; food security and efficiency; and innovation. Grades, scored out of three, will be given to specifics […] Read more

‘Verified sustainable’ certification may one day join the iconic mountain shot as a 
selling point for Canadian beef.

Canadian ‘verified sustainable’ beef is still on the menu

McDonald’s headline-grabbing pilot is over, but the effort to boost the cattle industry’s environmental and welfare credentials continues

It won’t happen in a hurry, but the effort to create a Canadian ‘verified sustainable’ beef brand is moving along and will reach an important milestone by the end of the year. When McDonald’s Canada ended its groundbreaking sustainable beef pilot project last year, the torch was passed to an industry initiative called the Canadian […] Read more


The nitty-gritty of becoming a ‘verified sustainable’ beef producer

Alberta Beef Producers chair Greg Bowie, who was verified in May, explains what’s involved

Thinking of becoming a producer of ‘verified sustainable beef,’ but wondering just what it involves? There are 31 indicators (available at vsbpilot.ca) that cow-calf producers must meet to qualify for McDonald’s program — and at first glance, it can all seem overwhelming. But it’s actually not that challenging, says Greg Bowie, a seedstock producer from […] Read more

Steve Easterbrook (centre), the head of the global fast-food giant, visiting Graeme Finn’s ranch near Crossfield in June.

Mission accomplished: McDonald’s sustainable beef on track for 2016

The fast-food giant expects to have 300 beef operations verified by spring — 
and then it will hand off the initiative to the beef sector

McDonald’s Canada will reach its goal of selling “verified sustainable” beef next year, says the company’s senior manager of sustainability. “We’re right on track as far as we know — it’s hard to know how many producers we’ll be able to get interested and get through, but we’ve got some pretty good numbers now,” said […] Read more


Study aims to show beef is sustainable

Analysis will create a baseline for things like water use and carbon sequestration

Consumers have been asking for it, and now the Canadian beef industry is one step closer to proving its sustainability. “We’re trying to find the impacts — both positive and negative — that come from beef production, from when an animal is born on the ground to when it becomes a kilogram of beef on […] Read more

McDonald’s has promised its customers that it will ‘begin purchasing‘ verified sustainable beef in 2016, and officials say they will make good 
on that promise in Alberta next year.

McDonald’s sustainable beef pilot moves into high gear

Fast-food giant has a long list of ‘indicators’ and is seeking producers 
ready to prove they’re good stewards

Updated Mar. 16, 2015 for clarification: This story states below (paragraph six) that the indicators for the verified sustainable initiative are scored from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). In fact, McDonald’s Canada is still developing the terms that go with the scoring system. In its presentation at the Alberta Beef Industry Conference, an example was given […] Read more