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Beef organization meets in Saskatoon

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept. 30, 2015 in Saskatoon, SK.

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept. 30, 2015 in Saskatoon, SK. The meeting brought together over 55 organizations representing all aspects of the Canadian beef value chain to celebrate this year’s accomplishments and plan for the upcoming year. Topics included updates on the sustainability benchmarking study, business strategy, indicator development and upcoming verification work. Participants also had the opportunity to tour Pound-Maker Agventures Ltd., Blair’s Family of Companies and the Western Beef Development Centre’s Termuende Research Ranch, where they learned about some of the sustainability initiatives taking place in Saskatchewan.

Part of the CRSB’s work focuses on developing the framework to produce and source verified sustainable beef within the value chain. This framework consists of two key components: indicators and verification. The indicators will determine how sustainability will be measured; and the verification protocols will outline the necessary approach for monitoring and verifying the indicators.

A multi-stakeholder CRSB committee has reached consensus on the first set of indicators for primary producers. These indicators were presented at the meeting, and the breakout discussion session yielded extremely valuable feedback and revealed general agreement on the future direction of the indicators. “It is amazing to see how quickly we reached consensus on the indicators, both within the committee and at the AGM. We are often saying similar things just in a different way. The main thing is that we are all in this together and want to move forward and achieve positive and realistic outcomes,” stated Tim Hardman from the World Wildlife Fund, who co-chairs the committee tasked with drafting and refining the indicators. The committee will continue working on indicators for other players in the value chain. The verification work is coming up next.

At the meeting, CRSB members also elected three new directors to its Council. The CRSB is pleased to welcome Ian Barnett (Nature Conservancy of Canada), Trevor MacLean (Scotiabank) and Page Stuart (Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association). “I am thrilled to welcome Ian, Trevor and Page to the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s Council,” said Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, Chair of the Council and a producer from west of Calgary, Alberta. “These three individuals bring new perspectives and invaluable experience and skills to the Council that will only benefit the organization as we move forward with our innovative and ambitious work.”

The Canadian beef industry is committed to sustainability and continuous improvement. It is widely recognized that a coordinated and collaborative approach is required to make meaningful progress. This commitment is reflected, in part, in the overwhelming support for the CRSB and the work it has been doing, and is demonstrated through the sold-out attendance at the AGM. Learn more about the CRSB and its work at

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is a national, multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance existing and new sustainability efforts within the industry. The CRSB is the go-to forum on sustainable beef in Canada. It has already answered the question ‘what is sustainable beef?’, and it is rapidly setting parameters around what sustainable beef may look like in the near future.