GRSB commits to cut global warming impact of beef by 2030
The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has launched its worldwide sustainability goals, with the aim of reducing the net global warming impact of beef by 30% over the next decade.
GRSB is a global network of people and organisations looking to drive progress in sustainable beef. In Europe, members include Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, Bord Bia, Breedr, Belvedere College SJ, Belvedere Agriculture, Ahold Delhaize, Simmenthal, INALCA, Silva Team, Rabobank and Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat.
The three global sustainability goals are:
- Climate: Reduce the net global warming impact of each unit of beef by 30% by 2030.
In order to support the urgent global ambition of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees by 2030, GRSB said members will implement and incentivise climate smart beef production, processing, and trade, while safeguarding and building upon the carbon stores in soil and landscapes.
GRSB stated that reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases requires both emissions reduction and carbon sequestration, making agriculture a key player in positively sequestering carbon in soils – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that grasslands alone could sequester 54 to 216 million tonnes of carbon annually by 2030.
Roundtable members are also committing to investing in research and development of climate-smart practices, tools, and knowledge. Investment has already been made in areas including detailed analysis of carbon sequestration – members will now look beyond how to manage carbon sequestration and how it can be more effectively measured on an ongoing basis.
- Land Use: Ensuring the beef value chain is a net positive contributor.
The Roundtable’s belief is that sustainable beef production can and should have a net positive impact on nature. In order to achieve this goal, GRSB will work with national and regional roundtables to establish measurement metrics to effectively measure, track, report and verify progress.
GRSB members will finance, source, develop, support and share practices throughout the entire value chain that are designed to sustain and restore grazing lands, enhance resilience, conserve forests, grasslands, and native vegetation, increase biodiversity, and help reverse ecological decline.
GRSB is working with its members and key stakeholders to eliminate illegal deforestation and illegal conversion as a priority. Beef farmers and ranchers will have access to greater financing from members within the Roundtable and recognition where no contribution to additional deforestation is made.
It is widely recognised that scientific developments will play a huge factor across each goal, hence the investment in research and development. GRSB’s members will encourage adoption of science-based land management practices that will maintain healthier soils, generate additional carbon sequestration, promote efficient water use, and increase biodiversity – protecting flora and fauna.
- Animal Health and Welfare: Providing cattle with a good quality of life
GRSB members will focus their efforts on continuing to improve the quality of life for cattle, achieved through increased adoption of best practices in disease prevention, treatment measures, cattle handling, and appropriate genetics.
Roundtable members will work together, and alongside beef farmers and ranchers, to encourage continuous learning and adoption of best practices across the beef supply chain that will improve welfare, and increase the ability of cattle to thrive in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Training opportunities will be increased by 25% based on 2020 levels to help ensure responsible practices, such as comfort, allowing animals to express normal patterns of behaviour, and pain mitigation, are implemented.
GRSB members will develop or adopt practical tracking of the effectiveness of the training, while continuing to focus their efforts on minimising morbidity and mortality with measurable improvements for each. All value chain partners, from farm to plate, will be encouraged to support and invest in the continuous improvement of cattle’s health and wellbeing.
“A commitment from the global beef industry”
Ruaraidh Petre, executive director of GRBS, said: “The world relies on beef and the industry relies on a healthy world to produce it. That’s why there is growing momentum in the industry to protect and nurture the earth’s natural resources.
“The conversation around beef sustainability is more important now than ever, and we recognise the need for beef to be more environmentally sound, more socially responsible and more economically viable.
“The goals which we have launched today are a commitment from the global beef industry, articulating the role and responsibility that we are taking together towards achieving a more sustainable ecosystem.
“Our goals are ambitious, and we may not yet have all the solutions to achieve them. By focusing our efforts, we aim to inspire research and investment in science and innovation that will unlock their potential impact.”