The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has released its draft Principles and Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef document for public comment.
However, the documents does not lay out a set of standards or a certification program; it only offers “a broad road map for this journey, allowing different regions to establish specific indicators, metrics or practices.”
According to the five principles laid out in the document, global sustainable beef stakeholders should:
1. Produce beef in a manner that identifies and manages natural resources responsibly and maintains or enhances the health of ecosystems
2. Protect and respect human rights
3. Respect and manage animals to ensure their health and welfare
4. Ensure the safety and quality of beef products and utilize information-sharing systems that promote beef sustainability
5. Encourage innovation, optimize production, reduce waste and add to economic viability
The draft document, accessible at www.grsbeef.org, is the product of more than a year’s work by members of the GRSB, as well as consultations with outside reviewers and beef sustainability subject matter experts around the globe. The public is invited to provide input and comments to the draft definition through May 16, 2014, after which the document will be updated to reflect the input received during the public comment period. Comments, along with any improvements to the draft definition, will be published for public review.
In March, McDonald’s announced plans to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016. The fast food giant outlined a three-part plan including aspirations, vision and approach. The company did not say what percentage of its purchased beef will be sustainable in 2016, or give a time frame for its 100 percent sustainable goal.
Late last year, McDonald’s and other members of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform launched the Principles for Sustainable Beef Farming, intended to help the beef industry produce beef sustainably.