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Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform
The global food and drink industry initiative for sustainable agriculture

Beef

The membership of the Beef Working Group is a dynamic blend of beef processors and a range of associations working on behalf of both farmers and associations. This mix promotes a challenging and productive dialogue that results in tangible outputs that promote sustainable beef production and importantly alignment between organisations when implementing sustainable practices within their supply chain.

Evidence is in the development of the very first Principles of Sustainable Beef Production which were launched in November of 2013. These Principles have the benefit of review from several external stakeholders to ensure that what was developed, and is now being implemented, is targeted on the real issues and importantly will result in genuine progress.

The Group is now, with retail colleagues developing comprehensive guidance to support those who wish to adopt these guiding Principles.  In conjunction with the guidance development the Group are also taking the opportunity to explore with other interested parties, how the sector (globally) can practically and realistically define sustainable beef.  Part of this process is the identification of appropriate indicators that can quantify such.

The SAI Platform Beef Working Group is also an active member and participant of the Global Round Table for Sustainable Beef, contributing to the development of the GRSB Principles and Criteria document to share the work SAI Platform has already completed and members are already implementing.  Here again the SAI Platform input is with the aim of achieving global alignment of key sustainability criteria.

The Working Group is also in the process of developing an industry discussion document with the aim of achieving consensus on the quantification of GHG emissions from beef farming systems.  The aim here is to stimulate discussion in the global beef sector on this subject to achieve alignment in application.  The Group is liaising with other global groups such as the FAO, GRSB and the international meat Secretariat in a constructive and thought provoking manner to drive this agenda item forward.

In addition, the 2014 work programme includes exploring issues such as ‘what is sustainable feed production’ which will look at practices as well as alternatives to commonly used feed inputs and the current state of knowledge on Sequestration with the aim of identifying when this could reliably included in GHG methodologies.

Working closely with the Global Research Alliance for GHG emissions from Agriculture, the group is developing a research pipeline resource in order to appreciate the current state of GHG mitigation knowledge including potential options under development for future implementation. This will be important for designing effectove on farm sustainability programmes.

This is a really dynamic group that is certainly not just a talking shop!  They get on and develop resources that help them achieve their own company sustainability aspirations in their own unique way.  If you are involved in the beef supply chain and want to join this dynamic and productive group, please do get in touch with SAI Platform to find out more!

Members: McDonald’s Europe, Unilever, Inalca, OSI Food Solutions UK, Bord Bia, McKey Food Service, Vion Food Group, Quality Meat Scotland, Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland, ABP, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, FAI Farms, Dawn Meats.