What is sustainable beef production?
Producers wonder what the word sustainability means, and what it could possibly require of them. There is no one definition at play, and certainly what it means for beef production remains to be decided. There's work being done at the global level and now at the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) There will be a set of global principles available soon, then it is the role of each country to determine what it will mean for them. There are research projects trying to determine what can be easily measured or identified, without imposing extra requirements for producers. All towards the goal of keeping it simple and part of the existing routines of what producers already do.
Globally there are three important components to sustainability: Economic, environmental and social (human resource related). While the third one is largely covered by regulation in Canada, it is important the first two go hand-in-hand. Economic sustainability means that producers must be able to continue to be competitive and not be driven out of business with unreasonable demands. The rest is a balance of picking what tools/programs exist that will provide optimum proof to the outside world. Beef producers are indeed being environmentally responsible and take care of their animals appropriately. VBP is ramping up to deliver into the future added modules for animal care and environmental stewardship by taking advantage of what's already in existence. While we continue down this road, working with customers will help ensure it meets reasonable marketplace expectations. We know that we are on track to practical improvements via technology, knowledge, research and empowering producers to do what they do. One thing is clear – the beef cattle industry is involved and needs to be. The rest is to be determined.
For more information visit www.crsb.ca.