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Agricultural News

Defining Sustainable Beef Production Can be a Lot Harder Than You'd Think - Mark McCully Explains

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:27:09 CDT

Defining Sustainable Beef Production Can be a Lot Harder Than You'd Think - Mark McCully Explains A simple explanation for beef supply-chain sustainability is no simple task explains Mark McCully, vice president of production for Certified Angus Beef.

“We talk a lot about sustainability,” said McCully. “It’s definitely a buzz term, has been for some time within our trade, within our chef partners and within consumers. I think most consumers have a hard time defining it though.”

To watch a short video clip featuring Mark McCully, vice president of production for the Certified Angus Beef brand explain the work of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and how cattlemen can contribute their thoughts about the new beef sustainability framework, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.

That confusion creates disadvantages for those marketing beef.

“One of the dangers that has been out there for some time is not getting a sound definition of what sustainable beef production means,” McCully said. “I think in many times a term like that can be misused in the marketplace, maybe over marketed and lead consumers to believe that one type of production is more sustainable or less sustainable than another. I think we've always believed that to be very dangerous and really not the case at all. Cattlemen have known about and practice sustainable agriculture and sustainable cattle production on their farms and ranches really forever. And, so, we really felt it was important for everybody to get together and come up with some common definitions, some common terminologies that everybody could agree upon and move forward.”

On a mission to find a solution, the Roundtable for Sustainable Beef was formed.

“U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef came together a few years ago, really grew out of a Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef that existed even before that,” he explained. “It's primarily industry stakeholders. So, folks from every segment of the beef supply chain, cattlemen, cow/calf producers, feedyards, livestock marketers, and then packers and processors and retail and foodservice professionals. So, every segment of the supply chain that's come together with a very vested interest in defining sustainability and making continued progress in this area of sustainable production.”

The Roundtable’s efforts have culminated in a documented framework, but they’re looking for more feedback before finalizing recommendations and procedures.

“The US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has launched this framework that is being put out there and open to public comment… What cattlemen need to do today is go out to the website…,” he said. “Spend some time going through the details and make comment on that framework because that's really what the Roundtable is looking for now.”

The document is open for public comment through July 1 at U-S-R-S-B framework dot org. Then the Roundtable will leverage the final framework to help develop relationships around sustainably produced beef and create more clarity in consumer marketing.

“Coming up with some of these common definitions,” concluded McCully, “coming up with some common language and some systems that all stakeholders can agree upon will really make a lot more clear messaging to the consumer and allow that consumer to navigate that beef case and select things that are important to them without the confusion of misleading terms or misinformation in marketing claims.”

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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