McDonald’s aims to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016
The big question is, how do you define sustainable?
The answer to this is being sought by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) a group made up of conservation groups, farmer associations, retailers and companies providing products and services to the global beef industry
GRSB prescribes to the “triple bottom line” approach in defining sustainability, meaning a a sustainable beef system must be environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. This week they have published a draft document outlining “Principles and Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef” The draft document is open for public comment through May 16, 2014.
The key principles outlined are:
- Natural resources – Global sustainable beef stakeholders produce beef in a manner that identifies and manages natural resources responsibly and maintains or enhances the health of ecosystems.
- People and community – Global sustainable beef stakeholders protect and respect human rights, and recognise the critical roles that all participants within the beef value chain play in their community regarding culture, heritage, employment, land rights and health.
- Animal health and welfare – Global sustainable beef stakeholders respect and manage animals to ensure their health and welfare.
- Food – Global sustainable beef stakeholders ensure the safety and quality of beef products and utilize information-sharing systems that promote beef sustainability.
- Efficiency and innovation – Global sustainable beef stakeholders encourage innovation, optimise production, reduce waste and add to economic viability.
These principles are being left somewhat general with the idea that they will be made more specific at a local level.