A group of U.S. beef value chain participants including producers, processors, retailers, foodservice operators, packers, allied industry and non-governmental organizations announced the launch of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB). The multi-stakeholder roundtable will identify sustainability indicators, establish verification methodologies, and generate field project data to test and confirm sustainability concepts for use throughout the United States. The USRSB adopts an approach whereby social, economic and environmental considerations are balanced to achieve sustainable outcomes.
“Research tells us American consumers are increasingly interested in the social, economic and environmental impacts of the beef they purchase,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, vice president of Cargill Value Added Meats and interim chair of USRSB. “For the first time, the entire U.S. beef value chain, including representatives who raise cattle and produce, market and sell beef, in addition to representatives from the NGO community and allied businesses, are coming together to establish metrics and criteria that will be used to benchmark the present and help measure improvements in the sustainability of American beef going forward.”
USRSB’s mission is to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in U.S. beef sustainability through leadership, innovation, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Utilizing the definition for sustainable beef recently released by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), the USRSB will develop sustainability indicators relevant to the various beef systems in the United States, as well as a means to verify sustainable progress in a transparent manner that can be shared. Similar to GRSB, the USRSB will not mandate standards or verify the performance of individual beef value chain participants.
The USRSB is being directed by an interim board of directors that includes representatives from Cargill, Beef Marketing Group, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Micro Technologies, Merck Animal Health, JBS USA, McDonald’s, Walmart, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Noble Foundation and the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management. Participation will be open to individual producers, producer associations, processors, retailers, foodservice operators, allied industry and civil society.
A complete list of members can be found here. Membership will be open to additional founding members until June 1, 2015.