New Sustainability Strategy for Canadian Beef Industry

CANADA - The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) has devised a new strategy to advance sustainability efforts following a two-year, ‘farm to fork’ study of the environmental, social, and economic performance of the Canadian beef industry.
calendar icon 12 October 2016
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The study, called the National Beef Sustainability Assessment, provides a comprehensive picture of the industry’s sustainability performance at the national level, said Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, a rancher from Jumping Pound, Alberta and Chair of the CRSB.

“We examined all aspects of the value chain, from farming all the way through to consumption,” she said.

The organisation hopes the new Sustainability Strategy developed as part of the study will help ensure the CRSB can focus its efforts in the most appropriate areas.

“The results reflect positively on the Canadian beef industry,” noted Fawn Jackson, Executive Director of the CRSB. “However, there are still opportunities for improvement, as well as areas in which industry wants to continue to excel, which is why the National Beef Sustainability Strategy was created.”

Key points for action in the sustainability strategy include optimising diets, genetics and manure management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, benefiting nature by improving habitats on beef farms and researching biodiversity relationships, and improving financial viability of the industry. The ability of the industry to distinguish between trends and fads as well as respond to consumer demands were identified as important to the economic sustainability of the beef industry.

Rich Smith, Executive Director at Alberta Beef Producers commented: “The social life cycle assessment results highlight the excellent practices being implemented by the Canadian beef industry. Working conditions, animal health and welfare, and antimicrobial use are all important topics for the industry. We are very proud of the results.

"Now we have the information we need to make further improvements and we can focus on implementing the Sustainability Strategy." 

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