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Behavior Change
GRSB Approves Global Principles, Criteria for Sustainable Beef

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has announced that its membership has overwhelmingly approved global Principles and Criteria for defining sustainable beef and sustainable beef production practices.

More than 96 percent of the GRSB General Assembly members voted in favor of the definition, principles and criteria. Every one of the five constituencies — producer, commerce and processing, retail, civil society and regional and national roundtables — voted to approve the definition.

GRSB defines sustainable beef as a socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes Planet (relevant principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community); People (relevant principles: People and the Community and Food); Animals (relevant principle: Animal Health and Welfare, Efficiency and Innovation); and Progress (relevant principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).

Defining sustainable beef and beef production practices has required the dedication of GRSB members and external experts from each sector of the beef production chain, from cow-calf producers to retailers. GRSB’s approach also included input from representatives of several non-governmental organizations, civil society, processors, allied industry and regional roundtables throughout the value chain.

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In January, McDonald’s announced that, by 2016, it will source only “verified sustainable beef.” The pledge was part of an effort to reduce the environmental impact of the fast-food chain’s meat production, as well as to be kinder to the animals on which its livelihood rests. Though there is, of course, plenty of debate over just what “sustainable beef” is, or whether it is achievable.


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