The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef was held earlier this month in Banff, Alberta, and the event featured a diverse group of inspiring keynotes that touched on the global commitment to furthering sustainability efforts.
Starting off this year’s event was a speech by Dennis Laycraft, President of the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (GRSB). He explained that the ultimate goal of GRSB is to expand global reach through more national and regional level roundtables, and he emphasized the importance of finding more ways to tangibly measure, manage, and communicate the progress being made in global sustainability efforts.
“How do we communicate our continuous improvement around the world, and how do we engage in some of these global issues?” he said during his presentation. “It seems like we’re the lightning rod somedays when people want to raise questions about climate change and about greenhouse gas emissions and what the role of agriculture is, and we have a story to tell that needs to be out there, and we’re very proud of some of the improvements being made.”
Next to speak was Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, chairperson of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), who offered a Canadian perspective on the roundtable. She has been very involved in the Canadian beef industry, and Laycroft referred to her as “a leader in strengthening the industry.”
“We have a wide variety of producers across Canada and that’s making defining sustainable beef really challenging, because we have to make sure we’re being as inclusive as possible,” she said. “So we have to make sure as we’re creating a program here, we’re not contributing to any unintended consequences that will affect one kind of producer versus the other.”
Following the first two speakers, Dr. David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College, London, gave a keynote address titled “What do You Want With Your Beef?”
“It seems to me that at government levels, and very senior levels elsewhere, the conventional wisdom is that meat consumption is not good for the environment,” he said. “There is a relentless deluge of information, and misinformation, relating to meat production and its environmental impact, and the beef industry is right in the center of this bullseye.”
Listen to the full address here:
Global Conference on Sustainable Beef